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WSJ: Dartmouth S.N.A.F.U.*

I’ll bet that this WSJ article alone causes 1,000 high school seniors to decide not to apply to Dartmouth next fall. Phil, you missed a chance at a victory; by your lack of nerve when challenged by the Freedom Budget trespassers, you have made the College look stupid in the national press — not that such a situation is anything new these days:

WSJ FB Comp.jpg

… Thus it is understandable that nominal authority figures like Mr. Hanlon seem helpless to defend their reputations or maintain discipline and public order. But it is still unacceptable. An institution more confident in its character and mission would defend itself. A college that purports to support free inquiry ought to be able to muster the courage to speak up for its own rules and for debate that respects the rights of others.

Mr. Hanlon might have told the kids occupying his office that most of mankind—forgive the micro-aggression—would love to be as oppressed as they are. Few young men and women in the world are more “privileged” than those admitted to the Ivy League. The takeover’s benefit to Dartmouth is that it might inspire the small minority of like-minded high schoolers to find another college to terrorize. Most elite U.S. students are well adjusted and grateful for their opportunity.

Dartmouth and any other school in this position should tell the students they have an hour to leave the premises, and if they don’t they will be arrested for trespassing and expelled. Since Mr. Hanlon missed that chance, he and the school’s trustees should now tell the students that if they are so unhappy they should transfer. Surely the occupiers would be welcomed by at least one of the other 4,431 universities or colleges in the U.S. But they may discover the problem is their own sense of privilege, not Dartmouth’s.

* Situation Normal All F***ed Up (though F.U.B.A.R. would work, too: F***ed Up Beyond All Recognition)

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