Jon Sanders’ Top 10 Nuttiest N.C. Campus Events For 2007

Editor’s note: Jon Sanders compiles an annual “Top Ten” list of what he calls the “nuttiest campus events” in North Carolina. This year’s list makes a notable exception, granting the top spot (see below) to something that didn’t happen. What didn’t happen, he says, was so strikingly necessary that its predictable non-occurrence warrants attention.

Onward to this year’s list:

10. Another year, another slate of rape-scare stats. It’s been thoroughly discredited, but that one-in-four statistic keeps being promulgated as if it were holy writ. For example, the University of North Carolina at Wilmington’s student newspaper, The Seahawk, warned that “During their four years of college, one in every four female students will be sexually assaulted.”

9. Hidden tuition. A study by the Pope Center for Higher Education Policy finds that most student activity fees collected by UNC schools have very little to do with student groups and activities, but instead serve as a source of extra tuition.

8. Poor, schmoor. No longer used by John Edwards to campaign, UNC-Chapel Hill’s Center for Work, Poverty, and Opportunity continued to flout its stated mission to find “innovative and practical” ideas to fight poverty. The center held a conference on “Wealth Inequality and the Eroding Middle Class” (emphasis added) — not bothering to explain, of course, that the middle class is “eroding” through upward mobility.

7. Fight for your rights. UNC-Chapel Hill sociology classes were led by Prof. Judith Blau through a mock constitutional convention. Ignoring the rights envisioned as self-evident ones already created by a benevolent Creator and honored by the government they instituted, they promised gifts bestowed by a dreamy collectivist government — such as “rights” to government price controls on housing and farm produce – and “rights” to sports and art.

6. N.C. needs NASCAR training? The “motorsports” industry emerged without collegiate assistance, but the General Assembly approved $500,000 for a Motorsports Consortium within the N.C. Community College System — about as necessary as giving East Carolina a Vinegar-Based Barbecue Consortium.

5. Making legal residents subsidize public higher education for illegal immigrants. Retiring NCCCS President Martin Lancaster instructed that all colleges to allow illegal immigrants to enroll at the out-of-state rate. UNC President Erskine Bowles announced a study of whether UNC schools should enroll illegal immigrants at the in-state rate.

4. Public money good, private money bad. The General Assembly increased UNC’s budget by 12 percent. At N.C. State, students were deprived of new programs and opportunities by faculty ideologues having conniptions because the university asked a conservative donor for funding.

3. The most unkindest cut of all. A study by the Pope Center for Higher Education Policy finds that “nearly half the four-year colleges in North Carolina no longer require their English majors to take a course in the work of William Shakespeare.”

2. A protest not worth the paper it was based on. Someone finds a noose constructed of toilet paper in a maintenance bathroom at N.C. State, the chancellor says that it could be a crime, the student government calls for criminal prosecution of the noosemaker, and black activists call it “domestic terrorism” and demand a stronger response “to keep someone from hanging from the other end of that noose” (which was made from toilet paper).

1. No apology from Duke’s Gang of 88. Even after the fraud became undeniable, they didn’t apologize for blaming the university and community at large for a culture of racial and sexual violence, and in January they issued a “clarifying statement” in which they defended their flap-jawed hysteria. Thus, two professors who had publicly apologized — Susan Thorne and Alberto Moreiras — were now retracting their apologies. Since the 88’s sentiments were completely aligned with the regnant academic groupthink, their careers were unaffected.