College Access

Vaccine mandates for colleges follow political fault lines

coronavaccine.jpg

It's red state vs. blue state once again:

As of this weekend, only 34 — roughly 8 percent — are in states that voted for Donald J. Trump, according to a tracker created by The Chronicle of Higher Education. Nine of those were added on Friday, when Indiana University and its satellite campuses became rare public universities in a Republican-controlled state to mandate vaccines.

With many colleges facing falling enrollments and financial pressure, the decision whether to require vaccinations can have huge consequences. Particularly in Republican-controlled states, college presidents are weighing a delicate equation — part safety, part politics, part peer pressure and part economic self-interest.

Only one of those parts should really matter: Safety. Especially considering the clusters we saw on UNC's flagship campus this previous school year, requiring a vaccine is a no-brainer. With the state's premier private school (Duke University) requiring students be vaccinated, the situation with UNC System schools becomes even more absurd. Come on, UNC.

Subverting higher ed: New "school" at UNC has conservative stench

We've been down this bent road before:

The Program for Civic Virtue and Civil Discourse — approved by the College of Arts and Sciences at UNC Chapel Hill — is set to begin in Fall of 2021. Chris Clemons, a UNC senior associate dean who is spearheading the program’s launch, told the Editorial Board Monday that the purpose of the program is to support a culture of open, respectful and productive public debate at UNC.

That should sound good to anyone fatigued by the tenor and lack of substance in public discourse these days. But evidence indicates that the UNC program might be less about those high-minded objectives and more about promoting conservative thought.

The second part of that title (Civil Discourse) has the flavor of a few recent columns by John Hood and other Pope mouthpieces. Combine that with the harsh and counter-intuitive "Free Speech" law that Republicans passed a few years ago, and you've got the likelihood of more Tom Tancredo incidents looming in the future. But probably the most damning evidence this school is going to be disruptive is the stealthy nature of its beginnings:

Fascism Watch: Spike of anti-Semitism on college campuses

Proving that pure evil never dies, it just lays in wait:

Benjamin Kuperman, associate professor and chair of computer science at Oberlin College, and his wife reportedly heard tapping sounds outside their home early in the morning on Nov. 17. They opened the front door to discover smashed seashells and a note behind their mezuzah, a small case that contains parchment with verses from the Torah, which many Jews place on the door frames. The note read, in glued letters, “Gas Jews Die,” according to the local Chronicle-Telegram.

And in just three words, this jackass not only threatened a professor and his wife, he also voiced his support for the Holocaust. Should we try to "understand" where this person is coming from? Start up some kind of dialogue? Rationalize it away, speculate that he doesn't really want anybody to come to harm, he's just frustrated? No. We don't have that luxury, and the Kupermans damned sure don't have that luxury. It's a hate crime, and should be treated as such, because such incidents are becoming more common:

Subscribe to RSS - College Access