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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

Excellent lambs

Photo: Jonathan Borba/Pexels

In the 1960s, campus protesters rejected adult authority, writes William Deresiewicz. Now the “young progressive elite” want the grownups to protect them from emotional and psychological harm, writes William Deresiewicz on Bari Weiss’s Common Sense Substack.

Not much has changed since he wrote Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of America’s Elite in 2013, he writes.

We are back to in loco parentis, in fact if not in law. College is now regarded as the last stage of childhood, not the first of adulthood. . . . The nature of woke protests, the absence of Covid and other protests, the whole phenomenon of excellent sheephood: all of them speak to the central dilemma of contemporary youth, which is that society has not given them any way to grow up — not financially, not psychologically, not morally. . . . The attributes of adulthood — responsibility, maturity, self-sacrifice, self-control — are no longer valued, and frequently no longer modeled. So children are stuck: they want to be adults, but they don’t know how.

“Beware of prepackaged rebellions,” he tells the Class of 2022. “That protest march that you’re about to join may be a herd.”

Becoming an independent person isn’t easy, writes Deresiewicz. “Childhood is over. Dare to grow up.”

Stanford University (motto: “Let the winds of freedom blow.”) doesn’t want to let students grow up, writes Bill Evers of the Independent Institute in the Washington Examiner.

The Office of Student Affairs, which had fewer than 50 employees just three decades ago, now employs more than 400 administrators who micromanage students and infantilize adults who pay for an education at Stanford.

Under the ResX plan, students are assigned to a campus “neighborhood” for their undergraduate careers, Evers writes.  They will find ethnic-themed dorms for the “Black Diaspora” and “Chicanx/Latinx” students to apartment buildings promoting “the IDEAL (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access in a Learning community).” 

Students’ social life is regulated: Students must register any party they host, he writes. Get-togethers during “dead weeks” before finals are banned, as is hard liquor and drinking games, even for students 21 and older.

These measures “have drawn widespread condemnation from students, including a student-led health and safety initiative that provides snacks and water at parties and walks students home on the weekends,” Evers writes. “These students say that the rule changes have spurred an increase in binge drinking.”

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