Why do colleges put up with such mindless student antics? Because they don't want students to start thinking about true injustices: the cost of tuition, the out-of-control student loan program, the economic injustice perpetrated by the corporate banks and our federal financial policies.
No--when students protest about important things, the authorities come down hard. Remember the Occupy Wall Street protesters at UC Davis awhile back? UC Davis police pepper-sprayed students sitting passively on a sidewalk. Don't mess with Wall Street!
And Cecily McMillan, a graduate student at the New School, was recently sentenced to three months in jail for allegedly assaulting a police officer during an Occupy Wall Street demonstration in New York City. Ms. McMillan denied the charge, saying that she was only defending herself against a police officer who grabbed her breast. Personally, I think her only crime was to challenge the economic order in an Occupy Wall Street demonstration. She should have barricaded herself in a college president's office demanding an end to "abilityism." The college president would probably have served her coffee!
Yes, college presidents and professors will talk with students for hours about the rights of transgender students to go to the bathroom, whether the college endowment fund should divest itself of coal-company stocks, or whether warning labels should be placed on The Great Gatsby. But don't ask them about bloated tuition costs, excessive executive-compensation packages, or the ties between academia and the finance industry. If you ask difficult questions, you are liable to get pepper sprayed.
James C. McKinley Jr. Despite Calls for Release, Activist in Occupy Case Gets Three Months. New York Times, May 20, 2014.
Jennifer Medina. Warning: The Literary Canon Could Make Students Squirm. New York Times, May 18, 2014. p. 1.