by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
The extremely liberal environment on many college campuses is often attributed to the influence of aging hippie professors intent on indoctrination rather than education. But perhaps even more influential is the army of campus administrators who work with college students 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. My recent experience at a national conference of such professionals revealed that indoctrination isn’t confined to the classroom.
Before retiring in 2015, I did “student affairs” work on university campuses for almost 40 years. I always looked forward to attending the ACPA (American College Personnel Association: College Student Educators International) conference to connect with colleagues who were dedicated to helping students adjust to being away from home, make new friends (often both U.S. and international), discover hidden talents, and become successful and contributing citizens after they graduated.
This year’s meeting, however, was devoid of such old-school notions. What we got instead was politics—far-left, social-justice politics.
Not that I wasn’t warned. When the pre-conference advertising trumpeted the “Strategic Imperative for Racial Justice and Decolonization” theme, I had a feeling things had changed mightily since I last attended a national meeting. We were provided “talking points” that included such statements as “Racism and colonization are real, present, enduring, intersectional, and systemic forms of oppression,” and “Advocacy and social change require us to work to dismantle racism and colonization in higher education.”
The conference website highlighted blog posts with such titles as “Racial Justice & Decolonization Can’t Happen Without Disrupting Monoracism,” “The Costs of Avoiding Discomfort: Addressing White Supremacy in Student Affairs,” and “White People Owning Our Whiteness & Resistance.”