Image 01 Image 03

Vanderbilt University Administrator Says Disruptive Protests Should be Encouraged

Vanderbilt University Administrator Says Disruptive Protests Should be Encouraged

“are essential for forward progress”

I wonder if this LGBTQI administrator would feel the same way if conservative students decided to follow him around and interrupt him every time he tries to speak.

Campus Reform reports:

Disruptive protesters should be ‘celebrated,’ admin says

The Director of LGBTQI Life at Vanderbilt University recently argued that student protesters should be “celebrated,” even if they stage sit-ins or disrupt university functions.

In an essay for Inside Higher Ed last week, Chris Purcell argues that college administrators should celebrate, reward, and support all student activists, asserting that “no matter the issue or side of the political or philosophical spectrum, it is the commonly understood role of administrators to work with students to support activism.”

Student activism falls into two categories, Purcell writes: “burner” and “builder” activism.

Burner activism, he explains, seeks to “burn down” oppressive structures, such as by “taking over the offices of campus leaders, shutting down streets, [and] holding sit-ins.”

Builder activism, on the other hand, seeks to “build new structures that work differently (often more inclusively) for one particular group of students,” and can include creating new student groups or demanding that the school become more equitable.

Purcell argues that both forms of activism “are essential for forward progress,” and “should be celebrated and supported.”

Further, he argues that there may be times when it is useful for administrators to encourage students to engage in “burner activism,” like holding sit-ins or occupying the offices of other college administrators.


Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.


This sounds like an invitation for conservative students to move in and occupy his office. That should give him an opportunity to celebrate.

If I were Provost at Vanderbilt, this fellow would be in my office with some explaining to do. I subscribe completely to the Chicago Free Expression of Speech manifesto, but I wouldn’t allow an employee to direct students into “burner activism”…