What happens when a university lets protestors take over the campus?
The University of Missouri administrators, as you will recall, adopted a supine position in 2015 when student activists claimed that "racism lives here" and issued a list of demands. They demanded that the president of the University admit "white privilege" and resign. Well, that one took about a month to achieve.
The face of the Mizzou protests was journalism professor Melissa Click, who demanded "muscle" to remove a reporter from the quad who was trying to . . . report. But there were other interesting characters: a football team that refused to play ball because of alleged racism and of course a hunger striker. Mizzou caved to them all.
So after the University met these PC demands things went swimmingly, right, with everybody feeling all good about being in the forefront of political correctness? Well, not exactly as Jillian Kay Melchior writes in this morning's Wall Street Journal:
“I pledge from this day forward NOT TO contribute to the [Tiger Scholarship Fund], buy any tickets to any University of Missouri athletic event, to attend any athletic event (even if free), to give away all my MU clothes (nearly my entire wardrobe) after I have removed any logos associated with the University of Missouri, and any cards/helmets/ice buckets/flags with the University of Missouri logo on it,” Mr. Vaughn told administrators in an email four semesters ago.
He was not alone. Thousands of pages of emails I obtained through the Missouri Freedom of Information Act show that many alumni and other supporters were disgusted with administrators’ feeble response to the disruptions. Like Mr. Vaughn, many promised they’d stop attending athletic events. Others vowed they’d never send their children or grandchildren to the university. It now appears many of them have made good on those promises.
. . .
Donors, parents, alumni, sports fans and prospective students raged against the administration’s caving in. “At breakfast this morning, my wife and I agreed that MU is NOT a school we would even consider for our three children,” wrote Victor Wirtz, a 1978 alum, adding that the university “has devolved into the Berkeley of the Midwest.”
As classes begin this week, freshmen enrollment is down 35% since the protests, according to the latest numbers the university has publicly released. Mizzou is beginning the year with the smallest incoming class since 1999. Overall enrollment is down by more than 2,000 students, to 33,200. The campus has taken seven dormitories out of service.
The plummeting support has also cost jobs. In May, Mizzou announced it would lay off as many as 100 people and eliminate 300 more positions through retirement and attrition. Last year the university reduced its library staff and cut 50 cleaning and maintenance jobs.
Mizzou’s 2016 football season drew almost 13,000 fewer attendees than in 2015, local media reported. During basketball games, one-third of the seats in the Mizzou Arena sat empty.
. . .
This phenomenon isn’t limited to Mizzou. Private institutions like Yale and Middlebury aren’t covered by public-records laws, so they can conceal the backlash. But when public universities have released emails after giving in to campus radicals, they have consistently shown administrators face the same public outrage.
Seems that some adults don't like kids who tear up their campuses and the administrators who let them do it.