Saturday, August 28, 2004


"Just look at how some of the winners are responding to this year's U.S. News & World Report college rankings. No sooner did it emerge that Princeton was tied with Harvard for America's best college than the Princeton PR office issued a statement sniffing that rankings "cannot capture the distinctiveness of any institution."....

Others object to the whole idea of ranking. Take Mount Holyoke President Joanne V. Creighton, who wrote this for USA Today in 2001: "Not only should we refuse to give lip service to this specious and oversimplified labeling of our institutions, we should resist labeling our students with numbers, too. There are insidious parallels between the bogus ranking of colleges and universities by U.S. News and the ranking of students by their SAT scores. "

Insidious, indeed. The academy is increasingly reluctant to acknowledge distinctions in merit. This plague of indecision is yielding larger numbers of co-valedictorians and co-salutatorians and often puts students in the dark about how they really stack up against their peers. Grade inflation hasn't helped. "We're all different" has somehow morphed, within the protective confines of the ivory tower, into "we're all equally good." "

More here.


But only Christian groups get harassed, of course

Last fall, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill officially "derecognized" the Alpha Iota Omega Christian fraternity. Earlier this week, AIO filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court to get its recognition restored. If derecognition sounds like a dire fate, it is, in a way. The university froze the fraternity's university account, denied it meeting space and cut off its access to student-fees funding (which AIO didn't use in any case).....

Last fall, Jonathan Curtis, the university's assistant director for student activities and organizations, told Sergun Olagunju, AIO's then-president, that his group faced derecognition if it would not agree to the application form's nondiscrimination clause, which prohibits AIO or any other group from using religious affiliation as a criterion for membership. (The fraternity had signed the agreement in previous years, not having given its clauses a close reading.) Because AIO's stated mission is "to train Christian leaders . . . by upholding the Bible's true standard of righteousness"--indeed, it aims to evangelize other fraternities--AIO's members believed that the clause could interfere with the group's character and mission.

AIO took its complaint to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. In response to FIRE's inquiry, the university's chancellor, James Moeser, said that an officially recognized student group must "agree to abide by the university's nondiscrimination policy by allowing membership and participation without regard to age, race, color, national origin, religion, disability, sex, or sexual orientation." As Mr. Moeser explained: "Jewish student groups are open to Christian students; the Italian Club is open to Korean students; and the Black Student Movement is open to white students."

The logic of this policy, at a certain point, defies logic itself. It insists on internal diversity--possibly at the expense of a single group's whole purpose--instead of settling for a diversity of groups. Theoretically, the Black Student Movement must admit a phalanx of white supremacists, even if such whites decided to take the movement over and vote it in a completely different direction. To exist "officially," Muslim clubs must admit Jews and Jewish groups Muslims.....

But the Supreme Court has addressed conflicts very similar to this. In Rosenberger v. Rector (1995), the court ruled that university programs such as the one at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill--granting student fees and meeting space to a wide spectrum of student groups--don't violate government neutrality in the instance that one of those groups is Christian. In Boy Scouts of America v. Dale (2000), the court protected the rights of members of a group from the "forced inclusion of an unwanted person."

Why does University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill wish to make a federal issue out of what amounts to letting seven Christians keep their own money and meet freely on campus? This smacks of a squabble over principle, and it is. The university seeks to subjugate individual rights to diversity, badly construed. It apparently feels challenged when students join together out of interests held in common; therefore, the university forces them to ratify the diversity code or lose their club. Talk about being exclusionary.

More here.


American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.


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