How Academic Saboteurs Dupe College Students into Activism

<好色先生TV>Jail time? Expulsion? Sure, but just think of the 鈥渄evelopment鈥 and 鈥渓earning.鈥

The student unrest that roiled the nation鈥檚 campuses in the first half of this year was most often associated with the 鈥渆ncampment,鈥 a visible tent-manifestation of scruffy, keffiyeh-swaddled support for the governing of Gaza by the terrorist group Hamas, as well as many other expressions of rank anti-Semitism.

But was it really 鈥渟tudent鈥 unrest?

Both faculty and staff have for decades mobilized students for protest, activism, and, at times, illegal activity.University administrators might be surprised (or perhaps not) that much of today鈥檚 campus chaos originates, as it always has, with the employees. Both faculty and staff have for decades mobilized students for protest, activism, and, at times, illegal activity. Today鈥檚 pro-Hamas student movement, as with so many , is not organic in any reasonably understood sense of the word. Between sympathizing employee agitators and the vagabond non-student crowds-for-hire that onto campuses, actual students often constitute a minority of the players at any given protest, and a not-very-well-informed at that.

Let鈥檚 take this occasion to assess how university employees use their power and access to students to engage in malfeasance鈥攎obilizing students to risk their futures in the name of a cause the students dimly understand, on behalf of the pet projects of faculty and staff who risk little to nothing.

Mobilizing and Duping Students

Many 鈥渟tudent鈥 movements are actually manifestations of radical faculty and staff pet causes. In their public-affairs messaging, bureaucrats give no hint that 鈥渟tudent development鈥 and 鈥渟tudent learning鈥 include faculty and staff mobilizing students into movements to 鈥渃reate change,鈥 i.e., to demonstrate, to protest, to violate university regulations, to vandalize university property, to harass other students, to jeopardize their academic standing and chances at future employment, and to put themselves at risk of arrest, with the resulting criminal record. They certainly do not acknowledge that such 鈥渃urricula鈥 constitute the aiding and abetting of criminal activity.

The guise, of course, is the great con-game of 鈥渟tudent development鈥 and 鈥渟tudent learning.鈥 Such phrases are where the social-justice cause du jour nestles, comfortably hidden. This scam vernacular has become such a ubiquitous and frequent tool of the fake 鈥渆ducators鈥 of Student Affairs that when you hear or see it, it signals 1) the person using it is not to be trusted, 2) it鈥檚 an even bet that the term is masking some ludicrous, noxious project, and 3) you should probe deeper to investigate what is invariably an educational fraud perpetrated by the unqualified.

The use of students as proxy foot soldiers for faculty and staff social activists may strike you as unsavory at best. But these campus characters relish it, presenting 鈥渟tudent activism鈥 as a positive contribution to 鈥渟tudent development,鈥 criminal record and all. Needless to say, student-affairs professionals and their fellow travelers may even enjoy the vicarious thrill of seeing handcuffs placed on their charges, since they have no intention of risking anything. They鈥檙e happy in their role of academic saboteurs, encouraging others to sacrifice.

An anonymous bureaucracy has assumed more influence in the first quarter of the 21st century than any campus outsider imagines.Academic Saboteurs

No, they don鈥檛 call themselves academic saboteurs. They鈥檝e crafted a shady euphemism instead. They are 鈥,鈥 and they constitute the cadre of subversives envisioned by the neo-Marxist Herbert Marcuse decades earlier. This cadre is the living implementation of Marcuse鈥檚 1972 call for a 鈥渓ong march through the institutions,鈥 which still inspires today鈥檚 far left.

Many believe that contemporary reformers must worry primarily about radical faculty, who co-opt departments of sociology, history, and English and then transmit their groupthink in a lockstep pedagogical project. This is partially true, as we see , , and . But this is hardly the entire story in the 21st century. It is not even the major part of the story. In fact, the clich茅 of radical faculty controlling the agenda has served to mask the actual threat, which involves the real foot soldiers of social justice. These men and (largely) women fill the ranks of clerks, enrollment managers, advisors, ResLife directors, and 鈥渟tudent success鈥 counselors, thus forming a largely anonymous bureaucracy that has assumed more influence in the first quarter of the 21st century than any campus outsider imagines.

This phalanx of ancillary support staff has arrogated to itself the moniker 鈥渟tudent educators.鈥 Working in the guise of 鈥渟tudent development鈥 and 鈥渟tudent learning,鈥 they engage in a of university policies and missions in service to an alien orthodoxy called social justice.

鈥淪ocial Justice,鈥 in fact, is the catchall decanter of a raft of actions, policies, and sabotages designed to 鈥渂oldly transform鈥 the university. Practitioners believe themselves to be 鈥渃ollege educators鈥 like faculty, and they frequently call themselves 鈥渟cholar-practitioners鈥 or 鈥渟cholar-activists.鈥 You can read about their pretentious role-playing in books such as , , and .

Elsewhere, I have written on these far-left bureaucrats and their on college students. Their abuse is almost ubiquitous on college campuses, with a significant student-affairs presence in politicized education schools. Such persons originate and propagate their causes, then mobilize college students as unwitting dupes for the 鈥渟ocial-justice鈥 protest movement du jour. At the University of Miami (Ohio), for instance, several 鈥渟cholar-activists鈥 established what they call the 鈥溾 to recruit students into activism for social justice.

While 鈥淢obilizing Anger鈥 is surprisingly straightforward, these saboteurs often mask their ideological agitation under the euphemisms 鈥渟tudent development鈥 and 鈥渟tudent learning,鈥 as previously mentioned. These phrases are a con-game vernacular. They constitute proxies for a crypto-Maoist, Freirean-inspired ideology. Such phrases serve as red flags to identify the con-game being played. Here is one particularly by Chris Linder that reveals the scam vernacular of 鈥渄evelopment鈥 and 鈥渓earning鈥 to be a thin mask for recruiting students into social-justice causes. (Linder: 鈥淚 argue educators must understand power, privilege, and oppression to effectively support and guide learning and development among student activists.鈥)

The scam vernacular of 鈥渟tudent development鈥 is a thin mask for recruiting students into social-justice causes.The unfortunate truth is that some faculty and many staff on American campuses into working for 鈥渟ocial justice,鈥 encourage them to neglect their studies in favor of 鈥渄oing the work,鈥 and ask them to embrace protest movements they barely understand, demonstrate publicly instead of attending class, break university regulations, and put their futures at risk.

But again, faculty and staff don鈥檛 put themselves at risk. Dr. Adrianna Kezar is 鈥淒ean’s Professor of Leadership鈥 at the University of Southern California and the author of a highly influential on faculty and staff manipulating students in the guise of collaboration. She observed that

because faculty and staff are part of the institution, they risk their jobs if they push too hard for changes. Students are less at risk if they picket, contact the media, boycott, rally, or engage in other forms of overt activism. [鈥 [W]hen a topic gets too hot on the campus, students can maintain a leadership role when faculty and staff have to step aside.

Kezar doesn鈥檛 elaborate on why faculty and staff must 鈥渟tep aside,鈥 nor why students do not 鈥渉ave to step aside.鈥 If you believe that this is on the up-and-up, Kezar explains the deception and duplicity involved:

On the most politically charged issues, faculty and staff worked behind the scenes, invisibly with students on campus. To stakeholders across campus, the effort was purely a student activist issue; no one would know about the faculty and staff involvement. However, faculty and staff were instrumental and directly involved in mentoring students, helping them to determine strategies, helping them to negotiate with the administration, and assisting them to overcome obstacles and navigate power conditions.

All while faculty and staff stand in the clear.

Too Close to the Fire

When faculty actually do show up on the fringes, as they did at Emory University this year, they discover how divorced from reality their surreal enthusiasms actually are. Take Emory philosophy professor No毛lle McAfee, who was arrested on April 25 at Emory for exercising what she called her 鈥渟uperpower.鈥

Faculty and staff mobilize students for 鈥渁ctivism鈥 to accomplish goals that the students themselves only dimly understand.McAfee said: 鈥淚 know the police, and I was very careful to have a nonconfrontational posture, to look calm. It鈥檚 a superpower of mine.鈥 McAfee asserted this in a bizarre with the Chronicle of Higher Education, in which she spun the illegal pro-Hamas encampment as a Summer-of-Love manifestation: 鈥淏efore this it was sunshine. […] It鈥檚 so peaceful. […] It鈥檚 just a beautiful day. Then the Georgia State Patrol just run in and attack.鈥

McAfee鈥檚 sense of self-importance oozed from her interview as she shared her interaction with the police. She harrumphed, 鈥淵ou know, I have an external review going on. I was just standing there. I have a meeting. Can you just give me a ticket and let me go, and I鈥檒l go to court?鈥

You see, the officious McAfee had things to do.

Many faculty seem to believe that it鈥檚 okay for students to be arrested but that their status as faculty should somehow protect them. 鈥淚鈥檓 a professor!鈥 squealed Emory economics professor as she was wrestled to the ground after approaching an officer from behind while he was in the midst of a forcible arrest, tapping him on the back of his head while his pistol in its holster was clearly visible.

All of this indicates what many outside of academia have long suspected and what many of us inside academia know as fact: Shifty faculty and staff, with their own crusades, mobilize students for 鈥渁ctivism鈥 to accomplish goals that the students themselves only dimly understand. The fig leaf for all of this is that students 鈥渂enefit鈥 in vague ways suggested by the scam vernacular of 鈥渟tudent development鈥 and 鈥渟tudent learning.鈥

The sooner parents, students, and senior administrators understand that this nonsensical verbiage masks a subversive agenda clearly articulated in the literature of the far-left, the sooner forceful steps can be taken against the culprits. Those culpable include some radical faculty, most 鈥渆ducators鈥 of 鈥淪tudent Affairs,鈥 and many off-campus guilds such as , , and . Without question, the issue merits vigorous exploration by conservative legal minds.

A college or university risks legal and financial exposure in permitting such behavior, and it鈥檚 not difficult to understand why. Might faculty and staff who explicitly encourage and guide college students to abandon their studies for social causes be legally responsible for the damage that follows? Are those faculty and staff who 鈥渕obilize鈥 students for their own causes guilty of malfeasance at the very least? It would prima facie seem so.

Perhaps more importantly, can faculty and staff who use their positions to influence college students to engage in illegal activity be held personally and financially liable for their actions? I鈥檓 not a lawyer, so I cannot say for certain. But it would be immense fun to find out.

Stanley K. Ridgley, Ph.D., IMBA, is clinical full professor at Drexel University鈥檚 LeBow College of Business. He is a former military intelligence officer with a Ph.D. from Duke University and has taught in Russia, China, India, Spain, and Colombia. He is the author of.