Saturday, May 25, 2024

Blame University Administrators for the Uber Eats Campus Revolutionaries

The revolution will be catered.

That’s what an anti-Israel student activist at Columbia University seemed to be saying in a video that went viral on social media Tuesday.

Columbia Ph.D. candidate Johannah King-Slutzky, who is studying “theories of the imagination & poetry as interpreted through a Marxian lens”—yes, this is real—went on camera and demanded that students who had violently entered and occupied Hamilton Halreceive free food.

King-Slutzky said that Columbia had an obligation to give food to students paying for meal plans. She also used an old trick used by toddlers across the globe, saying, “Do you want students to die of starvation or dehydration or even get severely ill, even if they disagree with you?”

The students had been occupying the building for less than a day at that point. I only wonder what their comrades in Stalingrad would have thought.

Lest you think this is just a one-off situation, Fox News obtained a list of demands from protesters at UCLA. It contained all kinds of laughable items, among them gluten-free and vegan food.

They notably specified “NO bagels.” Hmm.

This phenomenon of absurdly entitled student mobs is worth examining.

The protesters really do expect school administrations—who they say they fervently oppose—to feed and cater to them.

How is that possible? Are they really that out of touch?

Actually, no, they aren’t. They are merely responding to the environment and incentives that are now inherent to the higher education ecosystem.

School administrations have hesitantly begun restoring order on their campuses after months of vacillation, but that’s not because they are hostile to the demonstrators. Far from it.

As some have mentioned on social media, it’s more like a public sector union negotiation. Both the politicians and the unions may “negotiate” the deal, but they are really on the same side. It’s the taxpayers—or in the case of the universities, parents paying exorbitant tuitions, taxpayers and donors—who are really left holding the bag.

In some cases, the protesters are getting significant concessions, like at Northwestern, where the school will now start giving full-ride scholarships to some Palestinian students.

Throw a tantrum, get some stuff. That’s how this works.

Columbia finally “cracked down” on its protesters by threatening suspensions, then giving them ample time to vacate before sending in the cops. But suspensions should have been on the table to begin with. Breaking into a building and fighting with the workers inside surely should receive more punishment than the equivalent of a tut-tutting.

As we’ve seen time and again, those who engage in disruptions on college campuses—or in Democrat-run cities—have gotten off with the lightest of punishments, and in many cases aren’t punished at all.

At the same time, those even accused of committing a crime that’s at the top of the Left’s social agenda on campus won’t even receive basic due process before being expelled and having their lives upended.

Disruptive students advocating for various left-wing causes, even ones who carry out the most obviously unlawful acts, just don’t fear repercussions. In fact, they have a reason to assume that their schools will literally cater to their needs like the viral Columbia student suggested.

After all, they’ve been rewarded for their ideology and activism on every rung of the ladder that got them into a prestigious school. Higher education aggressively promotes students who participate in “action civics.” It looks good on a resume.

Action civics is a meal ticket into higher education, which is increasingly abandoning more measurable standards, such as testing.

Organizing and participating in protests is now rewarded at the K-12 level more than knowledge of history or philosophy, as Heritage Foundation education expert Jonathan Butcher recently explained. (The Daily Signal is the news outlet of The Heritage Foundation.)

Columbia University has permanently dropped its SAT/ACT requirements, making it the first Ivy League school to do so. Is it any wonder that Columbia has some of the most ridiculous and clueless protesters?

What makes a student profile stand out in college admissions is participating in activism—such as bringing transgender bathrooms to your school, protesting your school until it converts to green energy, organizing a walkout for gun control, or writing “black lives matter” a hundred times on an application.

Why do you think gun control activist David Hogg got into Harvard? It wasn’t because he was a great student or some genius.

Every step of the way, these students have been rewarded for engaging in more and more dramatic action civics. They are taught that this is how the world is supposed to work and that the most elite, prestigious institutions in our society will reward them for it.

Higher education has literally fed into this mentality.

That perverse dynamic has ramifications on a society-wide level. It’s being duplicated in other institutions that get served a steady stream of students from higher ed.

The Uber Eats revolution is here, it’s queer, and it hates Western civilization, but it won’t go away when the anti-Israel encampments disperse.

Instead, these foot soldiers for the cause will get nice jobs at the State Department, in a state attorney general’s office, or in your company’s HR department.

It’s not the students who have created this dynamic; it’s the school administrations that have decided time and again to empower the activists and the causes they champion.

You can’t entirely blame the spoiled adult children for demanding free stuff, including a much more costly student loan bailout. Blame the malignant, coddling university administrations who normalized this behavior.