November 19, 2012

These examples of domestication could be multiplied, but three points are clear. First, this campus socialism needlessly drives up tuition and encourages further reliance on government to foot the bill. I suspect that if all these “€œfree”€ nonacademic extras were removed, tuition costs would drop by a third and thereby reduce student debt. Without this debt, there would be less money owed to Uncle Sam. Moreover, sky-high tuition now makes it almost impossible to work one’s way through school. Try finding a part-time job that pays $20,000 or more a year. Far more tempting is to sink a bit further into government-supplied debt.

Second, these abundant university-supplied services multiply the opportunities to fill young minds with the latest PC nonsense. University divisions of housing are among the most PC entities on campus. College dormitories offer excellent opportunities to spread the PC gospel via dorm policies (what you can post on room walls), resident advisor-led meetings (the importance of sympathizing with your transvestite roommate), and handling “€œoffensive”€ behavior (calling a rowdy a “€œwater buffalo”€). Why else would today’s universities demonize fraternities? I suspect that Deans of Student Housing are terrified that if students were allowed to live without university supervision, they could actually choose their own housemates, tell racist jokes, get drunk, and put up Ron Paul posters without any fear of punishment.

But of all the dependency-generating mechanisms, the most important is inhibiting youngsters”€™ ability to make real-world decisions like adults. Imagine if today’s university sold off all of its nonacademic functions. Goodbye dorms, health centers, divisions of recreation, free computer services, the campus bookstore, tutoring and writing centers, free concerts, free lecture series, and all else. Even sell the library to Google. This would be a bare-bones medieval-style university, one consisting solely of professors, classrooms, science labs, and whatever else was necessary for imparting knowledge. 

Would campus life collapse? Would eighteen-year-olds starve absent a dining service? Hardly, and these youngsters would benefit immensely. Nearly all college students have mastered craigslist and other online venues to find whatever they need. Let youngsters learn to make important choices and then suffer the consequences. Let them visit Walmart’s convenient care for their runny nose rather than the university’s facilities and thereby learn about choosing a healthcare provider. Let them shop the housing market and survive all the charlatans and crooks. This is what “€œgrowing up”€ means. 

Like aggressive dogs that are kept from breeding, students who demonstrate excessive independence are culled out from university life as troublemakers. Imagine the fate of students who openly contested today’s campus orthodoxy by mocking diversity or pointing out that Africa devolved after colonialism ended. Like any good breeder with an eye on potential customers, university administrators would keep this troublemaker student from reaching the market. This is what speech codes and all the rest of the PC apparatus are about”€”imposing docility by expelling troublemakers. After a point, the word would get out that if you want to be adopted by a nice family, then don”€™t bite strangers.

I can imagine the school president giving the following graduation speech:

Here, ladies and gentlemen, is the class of 2015. All have had their shots, been wormed, and are paper-trained and ready to go. Each, I assure you, will make a wonderful addition to our fine society.



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