Tag: university

What I Have Seen at Public University

 

Max (not his real name) was worried. “I just don’t know if I’m a good enough writer. I don’t have any confidence that what I have to say makes sense.” It was a private conversation between a student and a professor. I pointed at the projection screen. “Whose paper did I just show to the class?” A few moments earlier, with his permission, I had shown his written work as an example to everyone. My voice conveyed serious generosity. I did not give him the opportunity to respond. I clapped him on the shoulder and announced, “You got chops, man! Hear me when I say, ‘You’re a good writer!’” A sheepish smile spread across his face. Max just needed encouragement. No matter what a student writes about, my job is to come alongside to inspire.

One undergraduate wrote about race cars, another about near-death experiences. Someone else regaled the benefits of “man’s best friend,” still a different student reported being a victim of a DUI. A critique of Barbie dolls was the premise that questioned artificial beauty standards imposed on young women. Defending and uplifting the art world was accomplished by a masterful dialogue paper where promotions and objections were all considered. “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” was well presented. Getting children outside to play, removing the constant use of “screens” by primary ages, warned against electronic stimulation on a child’s brain. BDSM used as a therapeutic tool was the resource promoted by a person who seemed to speak out of personal experience. Social stigmas related to masculinity, specifically, how men could dress in dresses, was a paper that spoke to the subject carefully while giving examples from his own personal life. Should “one nation under God” be in the Pledge of Allegiance? Should church leaders be celebrated? Interests span a wide range in a public university freshman class.

The subjects are as varied as my students. One young man, a Chinese American, recounted the diligence of his parents to work 14-hour days so that he might have a better life growing up in America. One young woman, a Mexican American, berated her parents, loathing her life, for the expectations placed on her by a couple who worked long hours so that she could go to college. Another woman struggled with the negative, repressive teaching she received from her church about sex and her slide into sexual freedom that caused her great pain. One more teenager spoke out about the imposition employers laid on young workers, requiring additional hours of labor for substandard pay. A young man gave acclaim to his father who had taught him the wonder of caring for wildlife. Another man questioned the overriding, negative impact that virtual reality could have on perceptions of the real world. And a young woman, obviously hurt by flippant words, reprimanded her own generation’s use of “texting” as a communication tool.

I Look for Heroes Wherever I Can Find Them

 

In deference to our traditional heroes, I have to say that the man I’m going to tell you about is not one of them. He hasn’t put his life at risk (although some might disagree, given what he is doing); he hasn’t faced bullets (but he has dodged the slings and arrows of the woke community). And he sets a great example, especially for professors in the universities, for fighting back. His name is Prof. James Moore.

Prof. Moore, who teaches engineering and policy at USC in Los Angeles, has the audacity to hang a pro-police flag on the outside of his office door. The university newspaper, the Daily Trojan, reported the complaint of a student regarding the display:

‘This is an inappropriate and unnecessary symbol to have on an office door where USC is, within the last year or two, trying to have a much broader diversity initiative and to be inclusive, especially in the STEM area,’ one USC graduate student told the school newspaper.

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Just happened to come across this story about Joe Lonsdale and the creation of the University of Austin. A lot of well-known people connected to it. Might be worth keeping an eye on, as far as building parallel institutions go. https://nypost.com/2021/11/08/university-of-austin-founded-by-writers-and-entrepreneurs/ Preview Open

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Holding Up a Mirror to my Students, And Myself

 

My practice at the end of my first class of the semester is to see if students want to ask me any questions. A young woman asked me, after my answering the question about alma maters and degrees, including my ThM in Old Testament, “So, did you ever think about becoming a pastor?” It was refreshing to hear such a forthright question, to which I answered, “Yes, I did consider becoming a pastor but discovered that I loved teaching.”

Other questions followed but she and a friend stayed behind after class ended to thank me for my answer, then added, “I am not religious, but I am a spiritual person.” Listening to my culture, I was not surprised by her admission. I had heard it before. What struck me about the conversation was her honest declaration. It was good to hear a student so well articulate her belief, and I thanked her for it

The brief conversation made me think again about how everyone believes something. Claims are staked on those beliefs. My job, as a professor, is to hold a mirror up to myself and my students, asking each one of us to be honest about those beliefs. We may not agree with each other. In the pluralistic public sphere, the freedom of belief is imperative in America. To appreciate others’ points of view without necessarily capitulating ours is important. My responsibility in the public university is not to change students. My job is to make sure they have had an opportunity to consider all sides of an issue before taking upon themselves the responsibility to own their belief. And today, I introduce my students to Thomas Sowell.

Antiracism: Another Addition To The Anti-White Toolbox

 

Ibram X. Kendi: As soon as you see a name like this in the public arena, you know you’ve got trouble. And when you see all of our institutions, including the United States military, being infected with the neo-Marxist, race-based rantings of someone with a name like this, you know you’ve got really big trouble.

So, who the hell is Ibram X. Kendi? Well, let’s see … He’s got the African/Muslim-sounding name. His original name was Ibram Henry Rogers, but he rejected the white/European sounding parts (how original!) and replaced them with names from Kenya and southern Africa, two places where there’s not a snowball’s chance in hell he will ever be taking up residence. He’s an author, a professor, and a “historian of race and discriminatory policy in America,” because, of course, that’s a thing that a racialist ingrate wants to obsess over.

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Many of us are familiar with some of the great things Mitch Daniels is doing as president of Purdue University including not raising tuition for a decade ( Press Release from Purdue ) or standing up for free speech on campus ( Mitch Daniels on Free Speech on Campus ) but many are not aware that […]

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This Time It’s Personal

 

When I heard that the chancellor of Rutgers University had retracted his statement condemning anti-Semitism, I was spitting mad. And I’m trying to get my head around the spineless, hateful, and bigoted statements that university executives all over the country are prepared to make in order to pacify the angry crowds.

In case you missed this story, chancellor Christopher Molloy initially sent out the following email:

Recent incidents of hate directed toward Jewish members of our community again remind us of what history has to teach us. Tragically, in the last century alone, acts of prejudice and hatred left unaddressed have served as the foundation for many atrocities against targeted groups around the world . . .

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At a school where 70% of students belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the President of the Church’s wife, Wendy Watson Nelson, is a controversial speaker to some outspoken faculty. It is the usual story, but in a different setting. “Sister Nelson’s own remarks…invited students to drop their contentions, open space […]

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James attended  Saturday’s anti-lockdown march in Trafalgar Square and tells Toby about the aggressive behavior of the riot police. The government’s contact tracing app turns out to be a real abomination and university students are now paying for the privilege of being locked in their residency halls with the threat of losing £8,500 (US$10,914) if they stray. Will they really vote Tory in the future? How about Laurence Fox’s new party?

Also, Toby praises Tehran on Apple TV+ and James finally gets stuck into The Boys Season 2.

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I know a few college-age kids, some of whom have gone back to campus and some of whom have decided not to return to campus but continue their studies through online classes.  Some of the kids I know have tasted the Kool-Aid and live in fear, not necessarily fear of contracting COVID themselves but of […]

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Having been forced to spend half a year in meetings of an American university’s graduate-student government — populated exclusively by the kind of hyper-earnest and uber-bureaucratic people who produce platitudes the way we mortals produce digestive waste, the kind of people who think that solving the world’s problems is as simple as creating an “inclusive […]

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If I were being responsible right now, I would be just finishing an essay analyzing Brodsky’s cultural influences in Russian (as it is I’m 70% done with the essay and 100% done trying to connect my “ы”s to my “т”s while maintaining the proper stem), or reviewing my infinitives for my return to Hebrew tomorrow. […]

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http://walterewilliams.com/colleges-dupe-parents-and-taxpayers/ Colleges have been around for centuries. College students have also been around for centuries. Yet, college administrators assume that today’s students have needs that were unknown to their predecessors. Those needs include diversity and equity personnel, with massive budgets to accommodate. Preview Open

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Why Do Those Wanting to Transform an Institution Almost Always Claim the Institution…

 

. . .and the people who want to preserve what the institution has stood for must leave and create a new institution to preserve the values of the old institution?

The United Methodist Church, which I recently joined in the hopes of avoiding just such a fracturing, has before it a proposal to split over whether to adhere to traditional church teaching. Although the triggering issue is listed as human sexuality, sexuality is merely the surface issue for a much deeper conflict over many aspects of traditional church doctrine, the authority of scripture, the value of traditions, and questions of how God has related to His people throughout history. But this is not the thread in which to discuss the specifics of the Methodist controversy. For better details on the Methodist proposal, go to the thread entitled, “This Week in the UMC” by @jimchase.

College Debt: Don’t Even Think of Asking Me to Pay

 

Since everyone, including Presidential candidates, seem to be discussing canceling college debt, I was moved to offer some thoughts on the subject, none of which include canceling college debt, but some of which have been bandied about by grander conservative voices.

Now, my philosophy regarding this issue is simple: You made the deal, not the hardworking taxpayers who would be strapped with your “canceled” debt. Learn that lesson now; pay your own way.

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I have mentioned before that I decided to go back for a Master’s degree after receiving my Bachelor’s 13 years prior. My program is made up of about 25 students; only five of which (including myself) are over 35 and have careers. I am a lifelong Conservative, and remember back when I was in undergrad […]

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John Tierney joins City Journal editor Brian Anderson to discuss the First-Year Experience (FYE), a widely adopted program that indoctrinates incoming college freshmen in radicalism, identity politics, and victimology.

Beginning as a response to the campus unrest of the 1960s and 1970s, the FYE originally sought to teach students to “love their university,” with a semester-long course for freshmen. Today’s FYE programs, however—largely designed by left-wing college administrators, not professors—sermonize about subjects like social justice, environmental sustainability, gender pronouns, and microaggressions.

University and Free Speech – Hope for the Future?

 

Lately, I’ve seen a few encouraging stories about a shifting perspective about free speech on university campuses. Some of the shifts are unhelpful, but others suggest that the leadership of universities is finally recognizing the significant role their institutions can play in supporting and perpetuating free speech.

At first glance, some stories are not positive. A few universities are trying to charge a “security fee” to groups who are inviting what the university defines as “controversial speakers.” Needless to say, the administrators are the very ones who decide that a given speaker is controversial, immediately suggesting that trouble will be brewing before and during a presentation. The University of Alabama imposed a fee of $7,000 on the College Republicans chapter that was hosting Milo Yiannopoulos in 2016. Just before the event, the university revoked the fee with the statement, “the University of Alabama supports free speech and welcomes diverse speakers to our campus. As with all speakers, the views of Mr. Yiannopoulos do not necessarily reflect the views of the University.” It was a wise choice since the chapter could not afford the fee and would have had to cancel the event.

Several colleges are backing down from charging fees and permitting speakers whom they deem controversial due to actions of the Foundation for the Individual Rights in Education (FIRE). When UC Berkeley tried to charge a security fee of $3,732.33 in 2009 for the speaker, Elan Journo, who was scheduled to lecture on “America’s Stake in the Arab-Israeli Conflict.” FIRE wrote:

Welcome to the Harvard Lunch Club for October 17, 2017, it’s the Psycho Halloween Killers edition of the show – number 144 – with your hosts, Todd Feinburg, Hartford radio guy, and Mike Stopa, nanophysicist, and today with special guest star, host of Michael in the Morningthe inimitable Michael Graham!

MG will join us, as will big cheese Rob Long, at the upcoming Ricochet meetup in Burlington, MA (just outside of Boston) on November 11, from 7-10 pm. Today he joins us to talk about the meetup and also to discuss why the left is choosing to lurch even farther left. And, in a related topic what gives when a poor Soda Pop and Pet Store owner (not kidding here) joins Donald Trump for a signing of an executive order that will help his 100+ employees get affordable health insurance only to find, when he returns to his home in central Massachusetts (yes, *that* Massachusetts) that his name is dog poo-poo? Michael will help us analyze.

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There are nuances to teaching at the university level that most professors come to learn for themselves, through experience and, sometimes, by means of baptism by fire. While educating individuals in a college setting is rewarding, there are a few lessons to be learned beforehand. Nothing can be compared to firsthand knowledge, but some advice […]

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