Jewish World Review May 10, 2004 / 19 Iyar, 5764
Back to the '60s: The new campus protest; activists without 'critical mass'; more
http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | Lehigh students taking Movements and Legacies of the 1960s decided to show what they'd learned by protesting the midterm, reports the student paper, The Brown and White.
What were they protesting? What have you got? They didn't have a problem with the class or the test, said a student named Clare Burchi. "It was more protesting the whole idea of exams and writing down all that we had learned into a little blue book."
Hold out for a little red book!
The Brown and White writes:
Instead of taking the exam, the students organized a war protest march and teach-in, which took place yesterday. Protesters named themselves "The New Resistance," and their goal is to make students aware that they are in charge of their education. The students of the New Resistance feel that the education system puts too much emphasis on grades and getting an education in order to get a high-paying job rather than for the purpose of learning.
Actually, it's the students who are rushing into business and econ majors while watching "The Apprentice" on TV. Nobody's stopping them from majoring in classics or philosophy.
Students learn that the "hidden curriculum" trains students "to be machines to work for the major corporations as well as capitalism," Burchi said.
Wouldn't it be more efficient just to replace the drones with real machines?
The New Resistance students feel that education as a whole does not allow students to see the connection between themselves and what is going in the world today.
"Students don't see that their getting through business school and working for a corporation is a direct connection to the war in Iraq," (student Terry) Hall said.
Oh, that is so 1971.
The professor said they'd get a zero if they didn't take the exam. But then he gave them an alternative assignment.
Students can write individual assessments of why they protested in light of what they learned about the 1960s movements. The students are also asked to give a full report of the actions they took to put what they learned into action.
Nobody will have to sacrifice an A for protesting against grades. They can be rebels without a cost — and with the added thrill of looking down from the moral heights on the foolish sheep being led unsuspecting to high-paying corporate jobs.
Activists Without 'Critical Mass'
In the Daily Bruin, UCLA officials complain that the decline in black and Hispanic enrollment — caused by the ban on race-based preferences — is changing campus culture. There isn't a "critical mass" of activists, they complain. Without preferences, there are fewer Hispanic and black students and more Asian-Americans.
"Without generalizing, I would say that Asian Americans have not had a traditional role of activism in the United States," (Berky) Nelson said. "They believe the way to success is through education, so they might study hard at the expense of things others may deem relevant."
Good thing Nelson, director of student programming, isn't prone to generalizing.
A Discriminations commenter, who attended in 1995-99, says Asian-American students were very active in campus groups — especially evangelical groups.
...the powers that be are confusing left-wing activism with activism. Difficult as it may be to believe, someone can be concerned with society and things other than success through education without buying into your party line. Baby boomer elites may not appreciate that when UCLA's Asian students form groups they often, but not always, do so to worship Jesus Christ rather than Frantz Fanon, but one cannot accuse them of a lack of civic engagement and ascribe it to the stereotype of the diligent but passive oriental.
My daughter attended UCLA from 1999-2001. She thought campus social and political life was balkanized, with students encouraged to categorize themselves by race and ethnicity. It's one of the reasons she transferred.
I admire people who stand up for their rights, but... This just doesn't seem worth making a fuss about. A 12-year-old girl was sent home from school in Needville, Tenn., when she refused to change her T-shirt, which the principal felt violated the dress code's ban on vulgarity. WKMG reports:
The T-shirt says, "Somebody went to the Hoover Dam and all I got was this 'Dam' T-shirt."
When Heather Mercer, 12, wore the shirt Thursday, she was told to change or be disciplined. She refused, claiming it's her First Amendment right to wear it, and was sent home.
Her parents support her decision to fight.
"I love it. It's my constitutional right ... talking about the dam," Mercer said.
Oh yeah, this isn't just a juvenile play on words. It's about the freedom to laud dams.
Mercer said she would be back at school Monday wearing the controversial T-shirt again. She and her family have agreed to fight it all the way, even if they have to home-school Heather.
Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in Washington and in the media consider "must reading." Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.
05/03/04:Dumbed down and out in high school; thanks for the F; kill the messenger