August 20, 2019

Sarah Lawrence Students Demand Free Detergent

“The latest college admissions scandal–which involved wealthy parents, including some Hollywood celebrities, paying fixers to falsify test scores and bribe athletic coaches so their kids could gain entry to schools like the University of Southern California and Georgetown–has reignited debates about the legitimacy of our meritocratic ideals.

But two other stories in the news this week raise a slightly different question, particularly for parents who don’t break the law to get their kids into school but might still be wondering if spending $40,000 a year on private school and college are a good investment: What are kids learning about social justice at these elite institutions?

On Monday, “students of color” calling themselves the Diaspora Coalition staged a sit-in at Sarah Lawrence College in New York to protest a New York Times op-ed written by Samuel J. Abrams, a politics professor at the school. The piece was critical of college administrators’ failure to encourage ideological diversity on campus, and it angered many students. The coalition’s list of demands, which began by citing the “pain of marginalized students” and included calls for “permanent funding for identity groups,” insisted that “Abrams’ position at the College be put up to tenure review to a panel of the Diaspora Coalition and at least three faculty members of color” because of his “anti-Blackness, anti-LGBTQ+, and anti-woman bigotry” (emphasis in original.)”

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