The Craziest Demands of College Kids in 2016

Jun 8, 2016

By Robby Soave

“We have spoken. We are speaking. Pay attention.”

So said Yale University students to the faculty of the English department, perfectly encapsulating the attitude of the college activist in 2016. Students at campuses across the country are demanding—not asking, but demanding—fundamental changes to their education.

Sometimes, change is good, and these kids deserve to be heard. But the demands of student activists have increasingly taken an Orwellian bent—and, if met, would eviscerate the free speech rights of faculty members, campus visitors, and even other students.


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26 comments on “The Craziest Demands of College Kids in 2016

  • This may be a mental health issue brought on by overprotective parenting. These are all manifestations of adolescents, late teens unable to cope with everyday stress, the slings and arrows of what would have been once, life as we know it.

    A very interesting hypothesis is put forward in an episode of the BBC R4 program The Borders of Sanity

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b07f50c0

    “Curling parenting” may be to blame. Parents polishing smooth the path for their kids. The result… self centred little bastards with all the resilience of fractured egg shells.

    The fact that it starts with genuinely unfairly treated individuals is no surprise, but it is also not sufficient excuse, either. It is they have to engineer change. Their ignorance of the world and desire for protection from it feeds their crass-same-old-fascist solutions. The struggle for equality is deeper than their immediate frets and they need to see how things actually do get to change and why fascism is a short term and immoral fix.

    I am a pro democratic egalitarian. I have to accept the science of Patrician Newton nevertheless. I have to accept that it was indeed the monied classes that had the leisure and education to create my art and my science. It was the rich white men like those of the Lunar Society that invented modernity with art and science at its heart. Nor were they part of the “conspiracy of old white men”. They were products of the previous age and made things better for all.

    These young adults will have to think and work much harder than this if they are to add as much value for their kids as parents of yore did.



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  • Erica Taicz, accused the administration of worsening her anxiety:

    “I’m paying to have a support network, academically and mentally. I can’t be expected to do well in class if I’m depressed and have anxiety. If the school is worsening my anxiety, that’s their problem and they need to be held accountable for that.”

    All the politicians, bean counters, educational economists, industry interest groups, chambers of commerce and industry, right wing user-pays advocates, private education providers, departments of education and training, and competency-based training theorists, who so comprehensively wrecked my particular area of education, the Technical and Further Education system in Australia; should take note (not that they will).

    When you commercialise and then largely privatise education, you quickly change from providing an education to selling certification and maximising profits.. The paying customer (they abolished students long ago), has rights and plenty of them, and they start demanding them in short order, and no-one has as many rights as a wealthy over-privileged adolescent in an Ivy League institution.



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  • Phil @ # 1.

    “Curling parenting” may be to blame. Parents polishing smooth the path for their kids. The result… self centred little bastards with all the resilience of fractured egg shells.

    Hear hear!

    I was one such brat; my wife thinks I still am.



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  • @OP – link – It was once the job of college professors to liberate young people from their delusions about the world in order to better prepare them to succeed in it.
    But 2016 might be the year the tables turned.
    Professors and administrators are increasingly caving to their students’ demands out of fear for their own job security.

    Pandering to the rebellious ignorant, and mentally inadequate, was always a very bad idea in education.

    If students don’t have respect for the expertise of their professors, they are either on the wrong course, or should not be at university at all.

    Many need to do some serious growing up before they are mentally suited to higher education!

    If they want to associate with like-minded people, there are usually plenty of clubs and societies which provide opportunities for these extra curricular activities.



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  • For the last 30 years or so there’s been a steady drive to insulate children from anything that might rank them, hurt them, discipline them or to put it another way – prepare them for real life. In my day kids got the cane if they misbehaved at school. Now teachers can no longer discipline them, parents barely can, I even read about parents getting arrested for letting their kids walk to school alone. Then suddenly adulthood rears its head, they find out that bad grades mean poor jobs and bad behaviour means courts and prison. “Spare the rod and spoil the child” might be taking things a tad too far but all the liberal left namby pamby child protectionists have achieved is to create a generation of whiny little brats who can barely survive outside of the cocoon they’ve been raised in.



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  • phil rimmer #4: I wonder when the product of old white men will be labelled as degenerate?

    I don’t know about the work they produced, most of it has been censored or burned at one time or another; remember The Warwick Shakespeare? But most of them were degenerate old buggers, lucky fellas! Creative people always get more opportunities than the rest of us.



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  • eejit,

    I was thinking as much of our own generations humble outputs and rather more being defined as Entartete Kunst rather than degenerate in that way, though this does rather remind me of my towering poetic achievement the limerick

    “Bold Bronwen who hails from Machynlleth,”



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  • #10: “Bold Bronwen who hails from Machynlleth,”

    Do tell us more Phil. Is the Bronwyn in question she who was booted out of the speaker’s chair in Canberra? If so I had no idea that she had Welsh ancestry, all the Welsh I have met are rabid socialists.



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  • Sadly, eejit, I can’t.

    I published it here during a disgraceful and ad hoc limeric competition. Very shortly after posting my appalling piece moderation was introduced to this site. To this day I believe this was, therefore, my fault….



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  • As a grad student at a prestigious university, I hate this sort of bullshit. When you go to uni, you should expect to be challenged by ideas you disagree with. It builds inner strength and means that you emerge from student life with an open but ever sceptical mind, ready to meet further challenges head on.
    On the subject of segregation, I can attest that it’s incredibly frustrating when ethnic minorities hide away and build their own little spaces. When I graduated for my first degree, the graduation photograph had a small cluster of people in the top corner who no-one else in the yeargroup recognised. Seems the contingent from Singapore had all identified each other at matriculation, and had studiously avoided the rest of the yeargroup for the next three years. Honestly I can see how they may have initially found it comforting to talk to people who shared their culture, but one of the most rewarding things about university life is meeting people from all over the world, with all sorts of confusing cultural ideas and viewpoints.
    Also, wtf does being ‘triggered’ even mean?



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  • Also, wtf does being ‘triggered’ even mean?

    Having your anxiety triggered….

    Recently, because some of the delegates at a feminist conference were “triggered” by the “aggressive” sound of people applauding them it was suggested all the audience refrain, but if they wanted to show appreciation they could do “jazz hands” instead….



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  • Lestes #14
    Jun 9, 2016 at 4:14 pm

    Honestly I can see how they may have initially found it comforting to talk to people who shared their culture, but one of the most rewarding things about university life is meeting people from all over the world, with all sorts of confusing cultural ideas and viewpoints.

    It sounds like the non-tourists, who fly to foreign countries, but when they get there, they stay in hotel complexes stocked with plane loads of their fellow countrymen, where the staff speak English, and serve their home foods and home brands of drinks!
    They then venture out into areas developed especially for tourists, watch home TV channels in their rooms, and may never see the local culture!

    Often tour-guides round them up and guide then around prepared circuits selling tourist junk or providing amusements.



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  • It seems that the new generations are using democracy and tolerance to practice their own intolerance. Partly the educational centres that allow these whimsical people are to blame. I think that any student incapable to adapt themselves to their new university life should be invited to quit the college only to return when they grow up. As simple as this. I think this stupidity is getting out of control.



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  • I also want to remind folk of my old trope

    For a healthy, robust and culturally progressive society we must first learn not to take offence before we learn not to give it.

    Eejits post #2, just looks wiser and wiser.

    I don’t think we can afford to let the ignorant purchase their education. We have to supply it as a state investment in its own future.



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  • Let’s talk about “triggering”: For reasons that I’d rather not get into, I have had serious self-esteem issues for the past two years, and there are certain situations and things that people say to me that either reflexively enrage me or frighten me. My shrink thinks I have symptoms of PTSD. The difference? I tell others about triggers so they’ll understand if something upsets me, not because I want them to kowtow to me and rebuild the situation around me. I see it as an issue to work on managing, not something to use as a weapon like these people do. I would never try to get someone fired when no malicious intent is involved.



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  • Someone bipolar who’d deliberately and short-sightedly (I could maybe say “with malice aforethought”) opted to cease taking his meds, stressed out by basically a bad week (unexpected bills, mechanical malfunctions, nothing worse than we all get sometimes), was “triggered” by fair (and polite) minor criticism at work into storming off the job, and further “triggered” by docked pay for time missed, turned violent and assaulted his manager – who had never been party to the condition or the meds or the lack of them, due to privacy legislation – with a bottle. (Alcohol was also involved).

    Nobody’s fault? Poor bipolar person needed to be treated Specially, with kid gloves, in case, you know, he got “triggered”? No, he’s not an axe murderer, at least not yet. [disclosure: none of the participants is me. I just saw it from the sidelines.]

    So, yes, if you’ve got special “trigger” issues, it maybe a good idea to warn people, so they can stay the hell away from you. But then you’d very possibly be out of a job and have no place to live, so that’s hardly incentive.

    Or you can own your triggers and seek the professional assistance you need, and don’t quit the meds just because you’d rather spend the price of a doctor’s visit on a bottle of liquor. And don’t hit anyone.

    I see recently in Australia someone went missing from a mental health institute, and turned up a couple of weeks later with a knife, giving cops the opportunity to open fire on him and several innocent bystanders. How quickly one person’s mental health issue becomes someone else’s bullet wound….

    Triggers, I’d suggest, deserve to be pulled, and frequently, just for the hell of it, until they stop working. And if this offends you, toughen up. Learn not to be offended.

    Of course the daesh death-cult delights in grooming and exploiting these people, just gets them to yell Alla Akbar or whatever whenever they’re triggered. Like daleks going “exterminate”.

    Offense truly is the best defense. Time to ramp it up.



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  • OHooligan

    I don’t think its helpful conflating anxious neurotic folks’ self “diagnostic” term “triggering” with something that makes a psychotic person violent. Rolling in the indoctrinated as well, just muddles things up too much for me. I’m out…

    Neurotic folks need to be made aware of their problem and their need to own it. The psychotic need to have their choices restricted. (Often more rewarded by their psychotic state, they will skip medication. We need more supervision.) The indoctrinated are lost causes and dangerous. We need to rescue their kids and hamper all indoctrinators.



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  • @OP – Sometimes, change is good, and these kids deserve to be heard. But the demands of student activists have increasingly taken an Orwellian bent

    Some groups of students have always formed groups at the nutty fringes of ideologies and politics.

    The problem is pandering by spineless administrators whose minds are so open their brains have fallen out!



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  • I went to an Ivy-league college more than forty years ago (only two plus years, didn’t graduate, my own fault), which at my matriculation admitted the second freshman (!) class including women (there were junior- and senior-class women there too, but those were all transfers from other colleges in my frosh year). Yes, there were issues all over the place, not the least with alumni (alumnae obviously were a thing of the future) who grumped at coeducation – until quite a few of them attended their daughter’s / granddaughter’s graduation and went all teary. But this kind of mental diarrhea would probably have caused a universal shaking of heads by all groups (which reminds me of a wry comment that apparently all people are ethnic – with the exception of white (old) men, and I must confess myself to be guilty on all counts; even worse, I’m German!). If you have serious issues, by all means get serious help. Otherwise, just grow up – or get a life. And that means that YOU do it, nobody’s going to present it to you on a silver platter (the English Empire of the Victorian 19th century is h i s t o r y!) (Probably guilty of falling for a stereotype here, but I think as an abstract concept, it’s useful here; but I await correction where necessary)



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  • GrumpyKraut #24
    Jun 22, 2016 at 5:04 pm

    (which reminds me of a wry comment that apparently all people are ethnic – with the exception of white (old) men, and I must confess myself to be guilty on all counts; even worse, I’m German!)

    I’m not sure about that! (I’m English with German AND Viking ancestry – not only that but my wife’s a Scottish immigrant to England!!!!)



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