The top universities can’t keep out of national news. Just in the past few months, there have been several high-profile stories about Yale and Harvard. Harvard is being sued for discrimination against Asians. Yale is being sued for not admitting women into its fraternities.
These scandals have been framed as a consequence of the culture wars. Left versus right. Political correctness versus free speech. Empathy and inclusion versus economic realities. Students fighting for social and racial justice against morally bankrupt faculty and administrators. But after attending Yale for some of the larger scandals in recent years, these dichotomies ring hollow.
Over the past decade, elite colleges have been staging grounds for what Matthew Yglesias has termed the Great Awokening. Dozens of scandals have illustrated a stifling new ideological orthodoxy that is trickling down into the rest of society through HR departments, corporations, churches, foundations, and activist organizations. The nation is becoming polarized and its parts disconnected. The right is evil, and the left is stupid. Or is it the other way around?
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Universities have consistently underestimated the power of a furious public. At the same time, they’ve overestimated the power of student activists, who have only as much influence as administrators give them. Far from avoiding controversy, administrators who respond to campus radicals with cowardice and capitulation should expect to pay a steep price for years.
As typical, the Atlantic comes perilously close to the answer, only to bury the lede and move on.
“… at most college campuses the attitude is that men are the problem. … I’ve had male students tell me that their first week in college they were made to feel like potential rapists.”
Added Maloney: “There’s a lot of attention on empowering girls. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with that, but males are the ones in crisis in education.”
Though advocates complain that few in higher education are doing enough to keep those men who do get there from leaving, there’s consensus that men’s reluctance to enroll in the first place isn’t necessarily the colleges’ fault. The problem has its origins as early as primary school, only to be fueled later on by economic forces that discourage men from believing a degree is worth the time and money.
In other words, men don’t feel welcome on college campuses any longer. Educations are mostly taught by women for women. And because most women tend to gravitate to the social sciences the pushes for diversity often don’t include men as the focus remains on women not being highly represented in certain educational paths.