Wednesday, November 19, 2008

More Leftist bigotry

Author's Note: The following is, unfortunately, a true story that took place this semester at the once-great (and once-conservative) Pepperdine University. No names have been changed to protect the guilty. They don't deserve it.

One Monday morning, just before the 2008 presidential election, a Pepperdine student (and College Republican, or CR) took a sign to the Office of Student Affairs. The sign read "Barack Obama socialism `08" in big letters, with "Socialism is bad. Do not vote Obama '08. More info: CR meeting Weds 8pm, AC 245". A young woman working in the office took out a stamp and approved the poster.

Three members of the CRs hung the sign up in the Caf‚. A couple of faculty members smiled and warned them to be careful since they were placing it up so high. Pepperdine students gave mixed reactions. The CRs sat in the Caf‚ awhile and then left. Shortly thereafter, their sign was removed.

Chris Garcia, the Vice President of the CRs, and another CR named Wesley Heuler found the sign, which had been moved to Pepperdine's "Freedom Wall". They took the sign down and put it back up in the Caf‚. It was yet again taken down. So a member of the CRs named Mimi Rothfus went to Student Affairs. (Roughly) the following conversation ensued:
Mimi Rothfus: Hi, I brought a sign in earlier, and it was approved. We put it up; it was taken down. When we put it up again, it was again removed. I had two stamps of approval on this poster, so why was it removed?

Student Affairs: This is partially our fault because we should never have approved this in the first place. We got a lot of phone calls complaining. We told your president to take it down and put it on the Freedom Wall. He said he would. When it was not taken down, we removed it. Then you put it up again, and we took it down. We were a bit angry that you never took it down and then put it back up. You cannot put up a statement like you put anywhere except on the Freedom Wall; groups can only advertise themselves and their meetings.

The next day, Mimi went to the poster room and picked up a number of posters Chris had left there. The posters said essentially the same thing as the other one, only with the meeting time and place and contact information enlarged. A female employee at Student Affairs gave Mimi the stamp, and the signs were approved. As she left the office a man named Don Lawrence stopped her. (Roughly) the following conversation ensued:
Don Lawrence: Did you get that approved?

Mimi Rothfus: Yes.

Lawrence: Because we had an issue with a sign saying "Socialism" yesterday.

Rothfus: Yes they were approved.

Mimi walked outside again but only made it a few steps before Lawrence stopped her again. (Roughly) the following conversation ensued:
Lawrence: She wasn't allowed to approve your posters. Let me see them.

(Rothfus showed him).

Lawrence: You can't have these up because they say "Obama" and "Socialism". We've gotten a lot of complaints about it from students and professors yesterday. The university cannot show support for and approve this.

Rothfus: This is advertising our meeting. Like several recent talk shows, we'll be discussing Obama and socialism. All our meeting information is on there.

Lawrence: Well Ryan (CR President) or Chris (Garcia) is going to have to come and talk to me about this, and I'll have to take your posters. This is university policy.

Rothfus: Yes, you're doing your job.

(Rothfus handed over the posters and left).

Mimi Rothfus is just an 18-year old freshman at Pepperdine. But she already understands the job requirements of Don Lawrence. If you haven't yet figured it out, Don Lawrence is the Director of Intercultural Affairs at Pepperdine University.

Any university that decides to hire a Director of Intercultural Affairs is a university that will soon find itself in rapid decline. Put simply, it is a decision that the university is beginning to take seriously the notion of multi-culturalism. The advancement of multiculturalism, by the way, promotes tolerance of all ideas. Of course, the idea that there is something special about Western civilization in general or American culture in particular is an exception to the rule.

Ironically, those who work as Directors of Intercultural Affairs are all cut from the same cloth. They are Democrats, self-described liberals, and, in 2008, they voted for Barack Obama. In other words, they aren't a very diverse bunch of people.The multiculturalists also envision a world without borders. They want open-ended immigration. And they think it's really neat that U.S. Supreme Court justices are starting to interpret our constitution by relying on the laws of other nations and the so-called "international community."

Put simply, Directors of Intercultural Affairs have an affinity for cultural, if not economic, Marxism. And that is why they are offended by posters that make references to "Obama and Socialism." They want their candidate to win. But they want their agenda to remain hidden.

Leftist readers of my column will say that I am making a lot of assumptions about Don Lawrence, Director of Intercultural Affairs at Pepperdine University. Maybe that's because he refuses to talk to me. Instead, he's instructed me to direct my questions to Pepperdine's PR department. At least Pepperdine administrators are smart enough to realize they have a PR problem on their hands.

Ryan Sawtelle, President of the CRs is now reporting that Don Lawrence confiscated and banned the "Obama and Socialism" signs in response to a directive from the higher administration. Three questions follow:
1. What is the name of the Pepperdine administrator who directed Don Lawrence to ban and confiscate the "Obama and Socialism" signs?

2. Is it not academic whoredom to make a living confiscating political signs from teenaged kids?

3. What the hell is happening at the once-great and once-conservative Pepperdine University?


Private schools for girls growing in Britain

Parents are increasingly turning to private education for their girls as an antidote to a society dominated by "Botox and bingeing" and to protect them from the coarsening of society. The number of girls at independent schools has risen by 14.5 per cent to reach 235,702 over the last ten years, compared to a rise of just four per cent for boys, bringing their numbers to 243,782. In the last three years alone, the number of girls has risen by two per cent, compared with a rise of 0.6 per cent for boys, according to the Independent Schools Council.

Vicky Tuck, principal of Cheltenham Ladies College, said that parents today were anxious that their daughters were growing up too fast, and worried that they were being exposed to many negative influences. Prolonging the wholesomeness of childhood was often cited by parents as a key reason for choosing a girls' school, she told the annual conference of the Girls School Association in Winchester, Hampshire. "Worried about a coarsening of society and the toxic cocktail of binge drinking, internet safety and the early sexualisation of girls," parents were lacking confidence in themselves as parents, she said.

Many tried - and failed - to navigate their way by trying to be a friend to their daughter, instead of a parent, but such an approach was doomed to fail because the two approaches did not mix. "When did we forget the craft of parenting...or that you daughter is not there to be your friend?" she said.

It was often left to schools to pick up the baton. "Sometimes, surrounded by media reports on Botox and bingeing, it's easy to feel we lead in a moral vacuum, garden in a gale. But we must go on gardening," she told the 150 conference delegates from 200 girls schools.

Ms Tuck said that girls often preferred a single sex education for personal reasons. "They do say that it helps not having boys around either mucking about or making them worry about their appearance; that they can compartmentalise their lives," she said. But there were also neurological reasons that also suggested that girls and boys both benefited from single sex teaching because their brains were wired differently. This meant it was "crucial to cater for their separate needs". "I have a hunch that in 50 years time, or maybe only 25, people will be doubled up with laughter when they watch documentaries about the history of education and discover that people once thought it was a good idea to educate adolescent boys and girls together," she said.

In addition to helping girls and young women, Ms Tuck said that head teachers had an important role in helping the parents of daughters develop their own lives. School provided girls with "an antidote to self absorption and narrow-mindedness" through teaching and the opportunities for communal activities. But many parents lacked such levels of stimulation and support and often felt isolated and alienated as a result. By engaging with parents and providing them with their own community, schools would be benefiting the whole of society as well as their pupils.

Addressing heads at the conference, she said: "Is there scope for you to build social capital, arrange for parents to join in things at school to help conquer the sense of alienation and isolation - singing The Messiah with the choral society, joining a book club, attending an art class?"

Mrs Tuck also told delegates that it was "good risk management" for every independent school to consider the possible impact of the economic crisis. But she warned that independent schools could not afford to lose their advantages over the state sector. "Maybe there are costs you can cut, but don't dilute the essence of what your schools do that make them distinctive enough from the state provision that parents feel that their investment is justified," she said.


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