[One] speaker said that directors in res life should simply declare what the "learning outcomes" are for first year students. She offered a six-point model: self-awareness, inter-personal skills, diversity, citizenship, social appreciation, sustainability. Lesson plans could be created to realize each of these. Yet another participant suggested that a good learning outcome would be, "Students must acknowledge power and privilege." Still another participant pointed out that res life need not focus all its energy on proving what it accomplishes with freshmen. After all, "We keep them on campus their freshman and sophomore years, so we have a captive audience for two years."Modern University Resident Life administrators are increasingly seeing themselves not as administrators or landlords, but as educators equal to faculty who have the right to turn living areas and student's personal time into classroom-like indoctrination centers:
Said one speaker, "We are educators, and we do not need permission [from faculty] to educate, and we certainly do not need to apologize for it."The NAS assesses it thusly, and I agree wholeheartedly:
The mischief that ACPA invites and encourages is its prescription for a regimented combination of intrusive techniques, single-minded focus on the race-class-gender-sexual preference, and ecological friendliness of students, and a highly ideological stance to what kinds of identities and social attitudes it would like to flourish. The result is an asphyxiating microcosm of the nanny state moved into the campus dormitory.
It is an ironic outcome for many res-life officials who pride themselves on their political progressivism, but who in their workaday lives have become ardent apostles of social control. They condone without a second thought many kinds of social license that would have been anathema to an earlier generation of college officials, but at the same time they deny freedom of conscience and freedom of speech to many in their charge. Res life officials at the Frazer meeting complained about helicopter parents who remain an intrusive presence in the lives of their college-age children. But it appears to be a kind of professional jealousy, since the res lifers themselves are a constant, hovering presence in the lives of the students.The time has come to demand "academic freedom" and individual rights for students at the university level. The purpose of higher education is to educate, not indoctrinate or even attempt to shape the personal and political beliefs of individual students. A tolerant, open environment should be encouraged for each to find and follow their own path. Counselors should be available for those seeking assistance - it should not be assumed that those that may think differently or have different agendas are necessarily in need of help, especially if they don't think the way administrators believe they should.
It simply amazes me how many times liberals in this country scream "fascist" whenever discussing right-wing, conservative or libertarian ideals, but when given a position of even the slightest power, these same liberals engage in the most totalitarian, anti-freedom activities they are able to get away with (and often many they cannot for very long).