Over the last few years, a select few schools around the country have shown the high cost of catering to the demands of partisan activist groups and mobs of social justice warriors.
Schools like Evergreen State College, the University of Missouri and Oberlin College are all notorious for their tendency to pander to social justice activists — and now they are paying the price. Although college enrollment is slightly declining throughout the country, these institutions have seen massive declines over just the past few years.
Evergreen State College
The protests at Evergreen State came in response to criticism of a social justice activism event called the “Day of Absence,” which involved asking white community members to leave campus for the day. Professor Bret Weinstein, who received calls for his resignation after he refused to participate in what the New York Times called “a day of racial segregation,” shared video and photos on Twitter of Evergreen students roaming the college’s grounds with baseball bats to intimidate Weinstein and his few campus supporters.
Evergreen announced in May that the college was facing a whopping 17 percent enrollment drop for the 2018-2019 academic year. Former Evergreen Provost Michael Zimmerman said that there is no doubt that the administration’s sympathies for irrational leftist protesters led to the “enrollment crisis.”
“The enrollment crisis at Evergreen, and make no mistake about it, it is a crisis, will not be fixed until the actions of last spring are acknowledged and their underlying causes addressed,” Zimmerman said. “To pretend that students fleeing Evergreen is simply a function of the economy or because of bad press generated by the far right is both misleading and counter-productive.”
University of Missouri
Many people remember the high-pitched yell of former University of Missouri professor Melissa Click. Click found herself at the center of weeks of unrest at the University of Missouri in 2015 and 2016. Click rose to infamy after a video of her calling for a student photojournalist to be physically removed from campus simply because he was documenting the protests. The protests erupted in response to the administration’s alleged mishandling of several racial incidents on campus. One of the incidents was later proven to be a hoax.
That was three years ago. Since then, the University of Missouri has faced a host of challenges. By April 2017, the university was forced to close seven residential buildings. The New York Times reported in 2017 that enrollment at the university dropped an astonishing 35 percent in the two years following the protests. The university itself even told the Times that the 2015 protests are the driving force behind the massive enrollment drop.
Oberlin College in Ohio is notorious for its over-emphasis on social justice politics. It is the alma mater of social justice icon Lena Dunham, who once published an art video that celebrated the “extinction of white men.” In 2015, Oberlin students accused their school of “cultural appropriation” over accuracy issues with certain cultural dishes that were offered in the dining hall. In December 2017, a local business claimed that Oberlin administrators slandered them by calling them racist for prosecuting alleged shoplifters.
It was announced last week in a series of reports that Oberlin now faces a myriad of financial issues including enrollment declines and “negative” credit ratings. In January 2018, reports claimed that Oberlin was facing its lowest enrollment numbers in over a decade.