Marissa Lingen (mrissa) wrote,
Marissa Lingen
mrissa

I still refuse to quote the Gustie Rouser as prose, though.

This article made me proud to be a Gustie. The other college presidents quoted in it are treating their students, not just as children, but as stupid children. Their fears about the risk of misreading, for example. I will give you two sentences, and you see if you can spot any differences:

1) Perhaps we should discuss the legal drinking age and how it interacts with American culture and the subcultures of American colleges.

2) Do not worry about legalities, just PARRRRTAYYYYY -- WOOOOOOOO!

Was that hard? Do you think that college students, most of whom are of voting age and theoretically literate, ought to have difficulty parsing the differences? Earl Potter, president of St. Cloud State, said, "With there being so much tragedy in Minnesota around binge drinking and student deaths, I'm not going to take any step which deviates from my core message: We want our students to behave within the law, and we want the ones who are of age to drink responsibly." Think about that: he thinks that any discussion of the law is equivalent to encouragement to behave illegally. He thinks that if we do not lie to our college students and tell them that our laws are universal and eternal, they will not follow them. That we can buy student safety by repressing free discourse; that subtlety is impossible and will lead to irresponsibility, lawlessness, who knows what social ills.

This is not a fit attitude for someone who is educating citizens of a democracy -- though it's sadly not a surprising attitude for American authority figures at the moment. Discussing the laws we have, whether they are working towards or against the society we want, is one of our jobs, collectively. It's one of our big jobs. And 18-year-olds are not junior voters, who somehow count partially or are just so cuuuute when dey fink dey can make a diffwence! Awww! No. No. This is unacceptable. So go President Ohle.
Tags: kasota stone and tornados, kids these days, the art of the possible, what five
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