The University as a Total Institution written by John Paul Wright
Concentrated Power is Not Rendered Harmless by the Good Intentions of Those Who Create It — Milton Friedman
Administrators and staff at Edgewood College were recently called together to discuss a troubling note placed on the door to the diversity office after the election of Donald Trump. The note, which included a smiley face, stated “Suck it up, pussies.” In the hours after the note was found, the diversity office had coordinated with the Title IX office, human resources, the office of student conduct, and the Vice President for Student Development to determine an appropriate course of action. In their joint email to the Edgewood campus, the ad hoc committee said that the note “was hateful and harmful,” and that “it violated every value that this institution considers to be at its core.” If such a condemnation wasn’t enough, they added that “Covert micro-aggressions and overt macro-aggressions appear to have taken on a new fervor” since the election.
A post-it note message stating “Suck it up, pussies” was deemed a hate crime by intelligent, articulate, and highly credentialed campus officials. Let that sink in. To those outside the closed world of academia, Edgewood’s clarion call to arms represented another hyper-sensitive reaction to a banal offense. There are, after all, no shortage of examples of universities acting stupidly. If anything, universities seem to be in a race to the bottom in that regard.
That said, it is a mistake to view the glaring infringements on free speech, the banning of speakers who challenge campus dogma, and the rise and spread of secretive Bias Response Teams as disconnected illustrations of campus lunacy. Underlying this lunacy is an ideology — an ideology that corrupts the core principles of a university, that divides more than it unifies, and that demands strict adherence through the omnipotent threat of sanction. This is the ideology of diversity and it is responsible for transforming the university into a total institution.