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January 20, 2006

Dummitude At Columbia

Imagine this scenario:

A student sets up his table at Columbia University's Club Fair.

Three students come by.

The three students, all white, begin telling the student, a minority member, that his organization is evil and is only taking advantage of him. He is "ignorant" and "stupid" for joining, they say. He responds that he joined of his own free will. The conversation quickly becomes heated. They shout, "Get off our campus!" His papers and literature are strewn about and thrown to the floor, the table nearly overturned.

The student, understandably outraged by this treatement, files a complaint with the college administration.

More than five months pass. The college does nothing.

When is it justifiable to ignore the violent harrassment of a student on campus? Answer: when that student is a military veteran. Chris Kulawik, a sophomore at the college, comments:

Amazingly (this is Columbia, remember), it gets worse. Having been publicly insulted for being both a minority and a veteran, the student submitted a complaint to his dean with hopes of a thorough investigation and ultimately disciplinary action against those students who harassed him. Several e-mails, meetings, and promises later, there was still no record of an investigation some four months afterward (which, by all measures, would be an open-and-shut case). Never mind any foreseeable hope of the University taking action against those students. Facing an administration unwilling to act, the complaint was filed once more last month. How far has the complaint progressed? Funny, did you get an e-mail from Dean Colombo yet?

Institutionally, by Columbia’s own standards, veterans, to whom we owe much, if not everything, are literally deemed unworthy of protection. In other words, had this student been white, or had race not been mentioned, there could be no action taken against those harassing him—in the eyes of the University, there is no crime in harassing or discriminating against someone for being a serviceman or woman. To cite Columbia’s own, accepted definition of discrimination: “The protected groups are based upon race, color, religion, sex, age, national or ethnic origin, citizenship, disability, sexual orientation, marital status, status as a Vietnam era or disabled veteran.”

Considering that few students are Vietnam era vets or disabled, this loophole leaves a great number of vets, always a target at institutions such as this, open for verbal and personal abuse. Astonishingly, a student or professor could identify vets and shout “Murderer!” with little fear of reprisal by the administration; by this flawed standard, most veterans cannot be “discriminated” against. Couple this lapse with the extreme feelings generated by the Iraq war and a new generation of students soon to arrive, the case for change soon becomes clear.

Strangely enough, this incident shows what is wrong with so-called "sensitivity" or speech codes that seek to protect the feelings of "protected groups" at the expense of others. I am not in favor of the sensitivity police over-regulating behavior. But neither am I in favor of creating favored classes of people who are treated with kid gloves, while other groups may safely be abused with impugnity, and this is the unintended effect of speech codes: they embolden people and make them think unacceptable behavior is fine so long as it is not directed at a member of a protected class.

Peaceful protest is one thing, but students have no business removing the materials of a club from a student club fair, and the college administration should intervene when this sort of thing happens on school grounds. Contrast the schools rapid reaction to this "hate crime":

Matthew Brown, CC ’07, and Stephen Curtis Searles, SEAS ’08, were taken into custody and accused of vandalizing a first-floor suite in Ruggles Hall, court documents indicated. The students reportedly covered the door and walls of the suite with racial epithets, anti-Semitic imagery, Cyrillic characters, and homophobic slurs, according to Dean of Student Affairs Chris Colombo.

The students confessed to the crime and were released after being charged with criminal mischief as a hate crime, a Class E felony.

Students were notified about the incident in an e-mail sent by University President Lee Bollinger and Colombo to the Columbia College and SEAS student bodies on Monday evening.

According to Colombo, an unidentified student made a call to Columbia Public Safety at approximately 4:20 p.m. Friday to report the defacement of a first-floor suite common room and door. Public Safety immediately informed New York Police Department after surveying the crime scene.

Seems the college administration couldn't react fast enough.

One would think that having three white students gang up on a minority veteran and call him a "Baby killer" in today's PC environment could easily be viewed as "hate speech", yet as the gentleman in question was a veteran, the incident, along with the student's complaint, was completely ignored.

Columbia's longstanding hostility to ROTC is a matter of record. Sadly, the university seems determined to continue that policy.

Posted by Cassandra at January 20, 2006 12:16 PM


OK Sugar Britches (that's my new nickname for the half-vast editorial staff of VC - bestowed by the Old Fart Neanderthal Sexist Club - they can have my Killian Red when they pry my cold dead fingers from the bottle! - welcome back!:-), what would happen on the esteemed moonbat campus of Columbia University of Humane Studies if said young minority got up from his table and proceeded to dismantle his attackers? Instantaneous arrest and jail time perhaps?

My new bumper sticker:

My Kid Is Off Fighting A War To Protect Your Kid's Right To Party, Spend Mommy & Daddy's Money, and Become A Sniveling Moonbat Like His Professors.

And you wonder why the HR departments are not giving the same credence to what once used to be the elite universities in hiring practices nowadays? I wonder what the rate of hire is for the vaunted ones in the red states now? Could you imagine a former Marine interviewing one of these protectors of the "last bastions of civil rights and freedoms"?

I personally think that all graduating high school seniors should be required to do thirteen weeks at PI before being allowed to enter college. The ones that survived would at least have a small right to their opinions instead of having them granted to them for free by someone with more intestinal fortitude, honor, and earned citizenship. The whole paid for in blood thing just doesn't rate I guess!

Starship Troopers is looking better and better! ;-)

Posted by: JarheadDad [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 20, 2006 06:32 PM

Sugar Britches???

Good nightshirt. That's going to be hard to explain, JHD :D

I'm still laughing, but my reputation is in tatters.

Posted by: Cassandra [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 20, 2006 08:00 PM

Where did these kids [not] get their values? Were their parents absent or just ol' moonbats or were they brainwashed by attending one of our "higher learning" institutions?

It's hard (but not impossible) to brainwash a kid if they have had reasonable values instilled in them when they were growing up.

Homeschooling is looking better and better to me, at least through high school for my Granddaughter (If I live that long).

College of course is another story. A story were getting an education, rather NOT getting an education is becoming even more compelling.

As far as the "minority" part, I think that all that equal stuff is starting to backfire anyway. We need laws enforced to keep good order and manners in our schools.

Bring back the fear and respect that our kids have lost by being coddled, spoiled and ignored.

Papa Ray
West Texas

Posted by: Papa Ray [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 21, 2006 02:57 PM

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