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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

Lonely on campus: Students are siloed, silenced

Afraid to offend each other, college students are "siloed and silenced," creating an epidemic of loneliness on campus, writes Samuel Abrams, a professor of political science at Sarah Lawrence, on RealClearEducation.


Four in 10 college students said they'd felt lonely the previous day, according to a 2023 Gallup poll, he notes.


Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) ideology has made it harder for students to make friends with those who share similar interests but different "identities," he writes. They're encouraged to focus on their differences, segregate themselves and see unintentional slights as "microaggressions."


His students tell him they find it difficult "to be open and to connect, intellectually and emotionally, with each other," writes Abrams. Students "are constantly on guard, living under the threat of bias reporting hotlines should they deviate from the DEI tribal norms." Firing DEI administrators would improve the campus climate, Abrams writes. "Let students connect, struggle, and learn from differences in shared spaces."


Loneliness threatens the health of college students, warns Surgeon General Vivek Murthy on his “We Are Made to Connect” campus tour, reports Johanna Alonso on Inside Higher Education.


Like so many things, the problem started before pandemic lockdowns and has gotten worse. Some say students find it easier to keep up with old friends on social media than to make new ones.


Destiny Patton, a first-year student at the Rochester Institute of Technology, credits a “speed friend-ing” event — the goal is to find a platonic match -- hosted by two dorms. “The event was packed because people were dealing with the same issue, they just don’t vocalize it,” she told Alonso.


Texas A&M University encouraged students to form groups: There are now "four cupcake-making student organizations,” said Mary Ann Covey, former director of counseling and psychological services.

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5 Comments


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Nov 27, 2023

Our kid was going to go to a speed friending event last week, but had a conflict :(


For young men, there is also gaming taking them away from real life. Instead of getting out and meeting real people, they put on a headset and disappear into a multi-player video game.


Ann in L.A.

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buy
Nov 28, 2023
Replying to

I figure every responsible parent should send their son off with a warning to leave his door open when a woman is in his room and a breathalyzer with a record-to-phone or send-to-cloud feature and ask her to used it before engaging.


Ann in L.A.

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JK Brown
JK Brown
Nov 26, 2023

Colleges gave up on helping students become educated when they started speech codes. You cannot develop your discipline of thinking and regulation of emotions without being able to openly debate. They do provide a body of knowledge to those students in the tough objective content heavy majors.


But what of the much vaunted "college experience"? This hardly sounds like the campus is a pleasant experience. Might I recommend 4-year of boot camp on Parris Island circa 1969 for a more congenial experience.


This is a comment of a college donor prior to 1923 (when the article relating it was published).


"A man does not come to college to learn to earn a living; he comes to college to learn live!"

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superdestroyer
Nov 26, 2023

And the joke goes: Diversity is why we are bowling alone.

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