This week millions of high school seniors across the nation will mail forms and checks to colleges announcing their intention to matriculate. It's the culmination of what some say was the toughest year ever to pry open the golden doors of academe.
My husband and I are still a few years away from writing those whopping checks to doubtless already well-endowed institutions, but a spirit of rebellion stirs in my soul at the thought of it. We tamely fork over tens of thousands of dollars (about $45,000 per year) for the privilege of having our young indoctrinated.
Why are we such sheep?
Do you know how authoritarian and surreal the atmosphere on campus can be these days? At Colorado College in Colorado Springs, a couple of insouciant students circulated a flyer that parodied one distributed by the Feminist and Gender Studies program. The FGS flyer called itself the "Monthly Rag" (charming) and reportedly advertised a lecture on "feminist porn" and carried an approving mention of "castration." The student parody flyer, the "Monthly Bag," referred to "tough guy wisdom," the range of a sniper rifle and "chainsaw etiquette."
The students responsible for the parody were at first threatened with expulsion, which was later reduced to a violation of the college's student conduct policy on (get ready for it) "violence." Dean of Students Michael Edmonds acknowledged that the flyer was a satire, but "in the climate in which we find ourselves today, violence -- or implied violence -- of any kind cannot be tolerated."
Translation: If someone uses words you find offensive, he has committed an act of violence. This does violence to the English language, apart from the assault on free speech and free thought. The offenders will be forced to attend a forum to discuss the issues raised (read: reeducation seminar) and will have a disciplinary note placed in their student files. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (www.thefire.org) is agitating to have the students cleared of all wrongdoing.