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Middlebury College Student Govt Demands Students be Able to Approve Campus Speakers

Middlebury College Student Govt Demands Students be Able to Approve Campus Speakers

Issues list of thirteen demands to the administration, says members will resign if terms not accepted.

https://youtu.be/utwrCc5cSRY

Middlebury College in Vermont has a recurring problem. When conservative speakers come to campus, all hell breaks loose. Now the student government has proposed a solution. They want the right to vet speakers before they come to campus in order to assure that the speaker’s values match those of the campus community.

In March of 2017, when libertarian political scientist Charles Murray visited the campus, a student mob shut down the event and sent a professor to the emergency room.

This month, a conservative philosopher from Poland named Ryszard Legutko was disinvited from campus over fears of protests. He was later sneaked into a political science class.

The administration then apologized to the student body for letting a conservative speaker slip through the cracks.

Katherine Timpf writes at National Review:

College Admins Apologize to Students Upset Over Conservative Speaker

In a meeting last week at Middlebury College, administrators apologized to students who were upset that a conservative speaker had been invited to campus — and pledged to do more to prevent right-wing speakers in the future.

Audio of the meeting, which was obtained by The College Fix, features three administrators trying to calm students who were offended by the invitation of Ryszard Legutko, a conservative Polish politician whose views they described as homophobic and Islamophobic…

Obvious from the audio of the meeting, the fact that the college had essentially canceled Legutko’s appearance was not enough — the students believe that he should have never been invited in the first place.

“There is a distinct compromise of the students who felt marginalized on this campus or who put effort into this protest, or this combat effort, they feel like their academic freedom has been compromised because they are not capable of learning because their emotional state is so distraught or their emotional energy is just consumed by this,” one female student said.

This capitulation was not good enough for the student government association at Middlebury, which has since issued a list of demands, a few of which must be read to be believed.

The school newspaper, The Middlebury Campus, published the demands along with the note which accompanied them. Here’s an excerpt from the introduction:

To the administrators of Middlebury College,

The Student Government Association (SGA) exists to be the democratic vehicle of the will of the student body. We believe that students and administrators are a partnership, a two-way street working toward a collectively better future for Middlebury College. Through conversations with alumni, students, staff, faculty, and various community groups, it has become evident that the connection between the administration and students has been reduced to a one-way street. The administration has failed time and again to listen to the desires of its students.

Administrators’ neglect of students’ wishes has been the consistent trend of the past few years.

On November 20, 2016, four hundred students met outside Old Chapel to rally in support of making Middlebury College a sanctuary campus. In response, the SGA passed a bill echoing the call for sanctuary campus status. The Community Council followed suit. Middlebury ultimately refused to meet the demands of protesters, the SGA, and leaders in Community Council.

There are thirteen demands that follow. Here are two which stand out. First, an item that details a new vetting process for speakers on campus:

Any organization or academic department that invites a speaker to campus will be required to fill out a due diligence form created by the Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in coordination with the SGA Institutional Diversity Committee. These questions should be created to determine whether a speaker’s beliefs align with Middlebury’s community standards, removing the burden of researching speakers from the student body.

Additionally, administrators will ask Faculty Council to require all academic departments to have Student Advisory Boards which will have access to a list of speakers invited by the department at least a month in advance. The Student Advisory Boards’ purpose will be to ask the student body for potential community input when necessary.

Further down, comes a demand for bias training for all staff as well as identification of those who refuse:

Recurrent bias training will be provided to all hired staff, faculty, administrators, as well as all students, with implementation beginning in the 2019-2020 school year. The names of any faculty, staff, or administration members who do not participate in bias training should be publicly available to students so that they can make informed decisions on courses and interactions.

In this bias training, participants must learn about the importance of preferred gender pronouns. All faculty must ask students’ names and pronouns on the first day of each new semester, and preferred names and pronouns must be respected.

Many small, private liberal arts colleges in the United States are currently at risk of closure.

Will anyone think twice if Middlebury College succumbs to this trend?

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Comments

Yes, this is why we send our kids to college. So they can arrogantly demand the right to tell anyone to shut up instead of actually learning anything. There could not possibly be any better use for tuition money!

amatuerwrangler | April 27, 2019 at 10:55 am

Does anyone really care if the members of the student govt resign?

It sounds like they did it right: if you bring up a problem you should accompany it with a proposed solution. The next batch of student government children may learn something.

No one is indispensable. I recall reading that George Marshall once pointed out towards the cemetery at Arlington and stated that it was full of “indispensable men”.

Two words: pound sand

That is the only acceptable response

Oh, admit it—

removing the burden of researching speakers from the student body

—is pretty damn good.

An appeal to make things easier for “lazy activists”—what a concept!

    Massinsanity in reply to tom_swift. | April 27, 2019 at 2:10 pm

    I found that absolutely hilarious.

    Its exhausting work pouring over a decade of social media posts, etc. looking for that one “offensive” item.

The administrators have let things get way too far out of hand. These are probably a small proportion of the students whose parents have failed to raise them with respect for other people and other knowledge. The college will also fail them if it simply gives them an echo chamber of nothing but their own preconceived opinions.

I don’t understand why students feel such a sense of entitlement to dismiss any parts of their education that they don’t already agree with. But Middlebury is at a crossroads. They can whimper and grovel to the students and give them all limited education in PC Studies. That will be the easy road, the one followed by Reed College. https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2018/04/12/responding-student-criticism-its-foundational-humanities-course-too-white-reed

If the administrators have any courage (not likely), they will shoulder the responsibility of providing a good education. They will tell the students that they should go elsewhere if they want a watered-down echo-chamber pseudo-education, and anyone who disrupts a speaker will be summarily expelled. They should adopt the Univ of Chicago free-speech principles, and make it clear that the students are there to learn, not to dictate demands.

    Frank G in reply to OldProf2. | April 27, 2019 at 11:37 am

    Amen. You are there to be exposed to a Diversity™ of ideas, not an echo chamber. GTFO if you think as a temporary minor resident you have authority to dictate institutional policy

      n.n in reply to Frank G. | April 27, 2019 at 11:44 am

      Diversity of ideas in principle, perhaps. Diversity of colors, logically, and in practice. Diversity is a color judgment or discrimination between individuals by the “color of their skin”, including racism, sexism, genderism, etc.

    Absolutely!
    At some point, if this continues, the administrators will find themselves out of a job since the students seem to want to run everything and will soon realize they have no need for an administration.
    Adults don’t give in to temper tantrums.

First, none of this is mandatory. We are all allowed to choose what we wish to hear. The issue in this case is that a small group of students want to determine what other students hear. They are taking away the choices from other students.

The administrators are in a tough position. If they stand up to students, on whose tuition money they depend, then those students may choose to go elsewhere (or future students may learn of the reputation and not even apply). They are juggling between a bad option (students leaving) or a worse option (students running the asylum). And it isn’t just Williams but most undergrad schools that are being subjected to these conditions. I for one am enjoying it, because almost all of the top dogs under siege are the very same people who challenged their college administrators during and following the Vietnam era. And the students are idiots who are just protesting for the sake of protesting. They have no Vietnam looming in the distance, so they have to manufacture outrage to rebel against. Sad little snowflakes, all of them.

    stevewhitemd in reply to MajorWood. | April 27, 2019 at 1:13 pm

    This college is one of the very selective ‘elite’ schools. If some students leave (and I wouldn’t bet on it, laziness and inertia being as powerful in students as anyone else), they will be replaced next semester with more students. It shouldn’t be a problem for them. Now a non-elite school, yes, might have this issue. But Middleburry is safe financially.

The students have power because the school gives it to them. All the college has to do is say that anyone interfering with the rights of free speech will be arrested and thrown out of the school. They may have to make one example and it would be over. The problem is the faculty wants the students to behave this way and encourage them.

Yes, resist racism. Yes, resist feminism and masculinism. Yes, resist the separation or exclusion of homosexual, bisexual, and neosexual in the transgender spectrum. Yes, resist diversity, color judgments, and other forms of bigotry. Yes, resist age discrimination, summary judgments, and cruel and unusual punishment of wholly innocent human lives for social progress. Don’t be Pro-Choice, selective, opportunistic, unprincipled. Tear down the walls. Separation of Church, Mosque, Synagogue, Temple, Chamber, Den, etc. and State. Separation of Church alone is a thinly veiled contempt for Christians. #HateLovesAbortion

Antifundamentalist | April 27, 2019 at 11:44 am

I don’t see why the Administration should object to unhappy students resigning from their student government posts. As to the disruption of Speaking events, All students sign a Code of Conduct. Maybe it should be more rigorously enforced. Have the little terrorists arrested and charged, followed by disciplinary action through the University itself. Seems simple enough to me.

Since they obviously already know everything, why are they going into megadebt to attend Middlebury?

Such behavior in the past was truly fraught with peril. Not listening to others meant not learning vital information for survival. They are so cushioned by the affluent world today that adults can get away acting like 2 year olds in this nanny state. In the end, Romans wanted to be captured by invaders. Soon, we may wish for a Carrington Event.

DINORightMarie | April 27, 2019 at 12:32 pm

So….let them resign!

Student governments exist for students to have an opportunity to learn about leadership, selfless service for their school, and to understand the importance of – and limits on – government. If they don’t want to take advantage of that opportunity, and want to put forth a puerile “give me ALL I WANT or I quit!” ultimatum….take them up on it! It is fascism, and Marxism, to dictate what and who can be listened to, what can and cannot be said, what you are and are not permitted to think.

The, abolish the student government altogether. It serves no purpose if what they’re “learning” is how to be little fascists.

    Would that it were that simple.

    Does anyone think the activists will just give up after they resign from the student government? They intend to win By Any Means Necessary.

These students are a valuable asset. From the time they are sophomores up until they are turned down for every job they apply for, they know everything. Why would we not want to take advantage of this all knowing group?

The inmates are running the asylum.

Seems to be a typo in the title. It should read “Middlebury College Student Government Demands Students Be Able to DIS-approve campus speakers.” With that in mind, I would like to modestly propose that Muddlebury implement a policy that would uninvite any speaker where even one student opposes their speech on campus. This would of course apply to venting opinions in front of the administration building, or speaking out in public, or even private discussions. All the objector needs to do is file a simple claim with the administration and the offensive speaker in question will be tossed off campus and forbidden to return.

In no time at all, the campus will become far more peaceful and quiet for the one student remaining.

It sounds like a repeat of the Cultural Revolution and these so-called students are forming their own Red Guard.

I look forward to reading about the demise of college’s like Middlebury.

The problem here is not the student “demands” but the fact that the administration actually caves to those demands.

We only want grape flavored kool aid!

Here is a remedy to consider. Congress, being in control of student loans and grant money, can pass a law stipulating that any student that actively participates in inhibiting the exercise the First Ammendment rights of anyone on campus will have their loan/ grant resended. That would take care of the students. The Presidents executive order regarding free speech (if enforced) should take care of the schools themselves.
I know I’m tilting at windmills.

As an aside how many of the first ammendment rights have been trampled on over the last decade on most college/ university campuses? Why are the taxpayers forced to pay for this indoctrination?

We are baby fascists, and we wanna play Big Brother.

Audio of the meeting, which was obtained by The College Fix, features three administrators trying to calm students who were offended by the invitation of Ryszard Legutko, a conservative Polish politician whose views they described as homophobic and Islamophobic…
———————–
I know, lets implement sharia law on campus. Women can then become second class citizens and treated as such by the soi bois.
It’d be fun watching that work itself out with the loser fascists.

They want the right to vet speakers before they come to campus in order to assure that the speaker’s values match those of the campus community.
Apparently they don’t understand that hearing a speaker who doesn’t agree with you can enrich your mind. I heard Eldridge Cleaver and Barry Goldwater speak on campuses in a 12 month span. While I didn’t agree with all they said, I found it interesting to hear such different points of view.

“… “There is a distinct compromise of the students who felt marginalized on this campus or who put effort into this protest, or this combat effort, they feel like their academic freedom has been compromised because they are not capable of learning because their emotional state is so distraught or their emotional energy is just consumed by this,” one female student said. …” I vote that Middlebury have it’s accreditation reviewed. They are clearly not teaching the kids a damned thing.

‘Academic freedom,’ compromised because they heard something said with which they disagree? OK, suppose the admin caves; the blade has two edges. Expect any progressive, socialist, LBGDTXYZ, communist, democrat, etc speaker to be flagged by some student as unacceptable. And banned.

Except conservative kids tend to be more live and let live and would find such a protest, while wonderfully karmic, repulsive. And would probably want to have a chance to call out the speaker for the ideas for which he advocates, in post speech Q&A. You know, like how it’s supposed to work?

After that, they can create a Student’s Committee for political reliability and send political officers to each class to ferret out counter-revolutionaries and have them shot, err, suspended. Do they have any notion of what they’re playing at?

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