After weeks of kowtowing to the campus mob, Evergreen College President George Bridges is finally talking tough. In an editorial published by the Seattle Times, Bridges says students who used intimidation and threats to silence speech are being investigated and could face consequences:
To preserve freedom from discrimination and of expression for all at Evergreen, we must have greater accountability and consequences for those who would deny those rights to others.
Freedom of speech belongs to all. Freedom to threaten does not. I am talking with Evergreen faculty and students, alumni, legislators and others about how we can strengthen and clarify the rules for conduct.
Since the disruptions, which took place on campus in late May, students are being investigated for violations of the student-conduct code, and their cases are currently under review. If they are found to have violated the code, sanctions range from a written reprimand to expulsion.
That all sounds good but anyone who saw Bridges pathetic performance when confronted by progressive students on his campus has to wonder just how seriously these violations are going to be taken. Bridges canceled homework, promised to provide food and even agreed to put his hands down for fear of micro-aggressing against students.
Meanwhile, students who were roaming campus with baseball bats (on the same day windows are broken on campus) are still being “investigated.” Students who demanded a professor resign and called him a racist are being “investigated” despite the incident being caught on video from multiple angles. How long can this investigation and review drag on? Meanwhile, Bridges signaled he is acting on the demands made by the same students now under investigation:
After hearing student concerns, I have increased the college’s equal opportunity staffer to full-time, boosted annual training for campus police officers, expanded a new equity and multicultural center, and raised the staffing budget for multicultural advising services. Evergreen will soon hire its first vice president for equity and inclusion, a college leadership position now common on campuses across the U.S.
Long-term, I don’t think this plan is going to work out too well for Bridges or for Evergreen College. As a Seattle Times editorial pointed out earlier this month, the school already has low enrollment despite “wide-open admission standards.” And as we’ve seen at Mizzou, where similar protests roiled campus in 2015, parents aren’t necessarily eager to pay a lot of money to send their kids to a school that is run by social justice protesters. From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch last month:
The University of Missouri-Columbia is expecting at least a 14-percent decline in incoming freshmen this fall, resulting in its smallest class in nearly two decades.
Administrators project that about 4,000 freshmen will enroll in August. That’s down by about 700 students from 2016 and significantly lower than in 2015, when more than 6,000 enrolled.
The shrinking numbers have been tied at least partly to the protests on campus in 2015 that followed reports of racism on and near campus.
Good luck, George.