An aside for those of you with college age kids

| January 7, 2012

Please forgive my deviation from the regular theme of this blog but I figured it behooved those of you intending to send your children onto college to take a look at this particular series of events I’ve seen unfolding. Following a post from Roger Kimball, the editor and publisher of the excellent cultural review The New Criterion, on the sad state of affairs at Williams College, I fell into an interesting set of student postings.

It’s a rather bittersweet series, really, in that a pionering student at the arch liberal institution of Williams College uncovered one of the many veins of politcal cooruption within American “higher education”. The student, “David Michael”, discovered a former admissions officer and current head of the Multicultural Center at Williams College, Lili Rodriguez, making this facebook post:

Sigh…same thing would happen to me when I was reading applications for admission. So many listed Ayn Rand as their favorite author..I would set those apps aside, clearly they were lacking in critical thought abilities.

This clear violation of her duty as an admissions officer was countered with this nervous attempt at levity (with some grammatical formatting on my part):

No one admissions officer can make a decision on a student or “Black List them”. Decisions are made by the whole committee, and yes, we are people with our own likes and dislikes…Ayn Rand enthusiasts were one of many pet peeves I had as a reader, others included essays written about Prom, Pets, favorite historical figures, etc. Other readers were annoyed when students wrote about video games, comic books, or dungeons and dragons (hobbies I totally dig). Luckily, apps are read by two readers and hobbies matter significantly less than academic achievement, writing quality, and recommendations. So long and short of it is this: Ayn Rand sucks in my opinion (unless you are a 12 year old seeking individuality and needing to complete your summer reading list) and even as a college employee, I do have the right to hold that opinion and voice it to my personal friends on facebook–which clearly I need to be much more careful about. Luckily, the opinion of one person cannot make or break an admissions decision at this college. Otherwise, we’d have no Ayn Rand enthusiasts able to start this WSO post or the awesome people that play D&D weekly. Go Dungeons and Dragons! Boo Ayn Rand!

Cute, no?

It’s clear that as both an admissions officer and as a “multicultural” leader Rodriguez has grotesquely failed in her duties. It’s revealing to me that she’d so effortlessly discriminate against students who deviate from her own political and ideological prescriptions regardless of their SAT scores, GPAs or the actual content of their essays. Or even, gasp, ethnicity. It’s even more revealing that she would make these comments in full and clear view of her both her friends and professional peers, without the slightest self consciousnesses.

All of this is not to say that I’m an Ayn Rand devotee, far from it. It’s not even to say that Rand typifies the conservative or right wing of the spectrum, doing so would be lazy and inaccurate. It does make clear, though, that those who oversee their children’s admission process would be well advised to consider having their children be intellectually dishonest or even flat out lie in order to stand their best possible chance of admission to the widest range of academic institutions in this Republic. The very same institutions which are supposed to provide a conductive environment for varied, honest and robust intellectual discourse. Sad, isn’t it?

Category: Schools

Comments (14)

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  1. DaveO says:

    Ayn Rand aside, it’s human to select those like one’s self for positive thing, and to never reward those unlike one’s self.

    The writer might have been writing about the officer promotion system in the Army.

  2. Poohbah, Lord High Everything Else says:

    When the revolution that so many idiots in this country seem to be hell-bent on igniting finally comes, the last thing a lot of extremely surprised libtards like Lili Rodriguez will ever here will be these wonderful words: “UP AGAINST THE WALL MOTHERFUCKER!”

  3. NSOM says:

    re #1

    Certainly can’t disagree with you there. It is worth mentioning though that this is the same crowd which claims to so studiously comb through applicants in order to achieve the greatest degree of diversity in the pursuit of open and varied intellectual discourse.

  4. SharonP says:

    Sad, yes. Why should we think the academic community is any more open-minded than anyone else? Obviously not.

  5. Jack says:

    Much ado about not a damn thing.

  6. Country Singer says:

    @#2 Poobah

    Love me some Jerry Jeff…

  7. streetsweeper says:

    Sadly enough, that very same thing is occurring in the private employment sector as well, NSOM…It is subtle but going on. I kind of noticed it with quite a few “pre-job” interviews as they were explained to me before moving and landing this new job.

  8. 2-17 AirCav says:

    Honest is NOT the Best Policy

    Admissions Officer: “Why do want to study here?”

    Applicant: “Well, I firmly believe that he who studies his enemy closely, who lives and works with his enemy, is best positioned to defeat his enemy.”

    Admissions Officer: “And who is the enemy?”

    Applicant: “Why, you are, of course!”

    Admisions Officer(frowning): “I see. Okay, thanks for coming in. You’ll receive our decision in 2-3 weeks.”
    Admissions Officer: “Why do want to study here?”

    Applicant: “Well, I want to change the world for the better, beginning right here. I firmly believe that this school offers me the best opportunity to blossom as an environmental warrior in union with my sisters and bothers in the Lesbian, Gay, and Transgender community.”

    Admissions Officer (smiling): “Although we cannot render our decision for 2-3 weeks, here’s a visitor’s badge. Please feel free to freely explore the campus. Thank you so much for coming in today.”

  9. NHSparky says:

    It’s not even to say that Rand typifies the conservative or right wing of the spectrum, doing so would be lazy and inaccurate.

    Yet that doesn’t stop them. More importantly, they dismiss Rand but at the same time the parallels between liberals and the antagonists in Rand’s novels are, well, curious.

  10. defendUSA says:

    Yep, I got me two college kids. And, sadly, the admissions essays they wrote would have been burned because of what I consider poor everything. My kids are smart, but what passes for effective writing is just astonishing. At any rate, discrimination for content is unacceptable no matter how it is spun. And I like Ayn Rand. Whoops, guess I won’t be getting in to UNC anytime soon…

  11. OWB says:

    The larger point being that it really doesn’t matter which books are on their auto reject list. It might even be OK to have one if that was the admissions policy used by everyone on the committee after careful study and discussion.

    Academia talking out of both sides of their mouths? Shocking, just shocking.

  12. Doc Bailey says:

    I’ve noticed this trend since I came to college. Having a discussion with professors about their take on even the subject they teach. I have noticed lessons that are not pure science, and open to interpretation, you have to toe the party line lest you receive a bad grade.

  13. Rick Deckard says:

    In my experience (recent undergrad and now a grad student) it really depends on the type of class. Most of your professors will be default liberals but those teaching hard science classes or an applied class are far less likely to let it color the class itself than those in say sociology or English.

  14. David Michael says:

    Thanks so much for the support!