Is anyone frightened by the prospect of millions of little Barry Obamas running around the country “organizing” their “communities” around petty causes instead of holding real jobs that do something other than increase government control over every aspect of our lives? I am. And so is Kimberly Legendre, a junior at Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU).
This semester, Kimberly is taking an absurd course called “Foundations of Civic Engagement.” Remarkably, it is a required course at FGCU. After reading the course syllabus and learning more about Kimberly’s experience from my friends at Campus Reform (see www.CampusReform.org) I know two things for certain: 1) I would never send my child to this joke of a university. 2) Florida taxpayers need to “organize” their “communities” in order to create “Civic Engagement-free campuses.”
This silly college course mandates that students participate in a “community engagement project” to “elevate” FGCU to become a smoke-free campus. This project includes at least ten hours of work on five “mini-projects” on campus and in the community. As a cigar smoker, I find this course to be exclusionary and discriminatory. In fact, I feel harassed. But, as a professor, I have even more serious concerns.
Regardless of what the students think about the tobacco laws they will be sent out on missions geared towards “effecting positive change in (their) communities.” What does this mean? They will be sent on missions aimed at “monitoring compliance with local, state and federal regulations on tobacco sales and advertising in retail outlets, especially convenience stores.”
The only two course texts are The New York Times and a book called Soul of a Citizen. The book is the basis of the course and the chief subject of the final exam. The author, Paul Loeb, is a leftist activist from the Vietnam era. The book contains references to the “subservience to greed” of the Reagan administration and the “Republican wrecking ball [that] steadily demolished sixty years of social programs.” The first chapter calls for universal health care.
And that sheds some light on why the course is a universal requirement at FGCU. All sections must read the pro-universal health care book at a time when the government is considering universal health care.