Cultural Revolutions

Student Radical Activity

Student radical activity is alive and well at American universities. Of course, it is difficult to be a radical when so many radical ideas of the 60's and 70's—including feminism, institutionalized egalitarianism, Marxism, messianic environmentalism, race theories, deconstructionism, Lacanism, and moral relativism—are ensconced in what passes for higher education today. But student radicals will try, pushing the envelope of acceptability to new levels of extremism.

Last Veteran's Day, for example, a group of about 200 demonstrators, led by out-of-state rabble-rousers, filled the first floor of the administration building at the New York State University campus in Binghamton to express their dissatisfaction with the state university system. Led by Sarah Murphy, who identified herself as a member of the National Women's Rights Organizing Coalition, these protesters said they wanted "total student control" of curriculum decisions and the hiring and firing of faculty members. They also demanded open admission; free tuition; expansion of studies related to blacks, Latinos, women, homosexuals, and Asians; and the firing of all public safety officers on the 65 state university campuses. As one might guess, university officials did not say "no"; they didn't have any comment.

This response, or lack thereof, is precisely what ails higher education. There is an unwillingness to call...

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