Thursday, April 12, 2007

Good for USC

Unlike other major universities, USC refused to allow students to conduct a disruptive sit-in at the President's office this week and swiftly brought it to a close with phone calls to parents threatening the students' expulsion.

If students insist on acting like children -- to the extent of bringing kitty litter to the President's office to use as bathroom facilities -- then unfortunately they have to be treated like children, rather than as young adults.

Of course, that old-time political activitist, Tom Hayden, chided the university as "very insensitive," saying that political activism is part of students' growth and "becoming independent."

I would say just the opposite. These students somehow believed that their protest would help others, but instead their activities -- and whiny reaction when the sit-in was nipped in the bud ("I almost felt violated") -- showed them to be pouting children who believe the world revolves around themselves. It's time they learn otherwise.

There are plenty of ways for students to express their points of view. As the vice president of student affairs said, "Universities are open places and we provide lots of opportunity to protest, to make their concerns known."

You just don't get to do it camping out in Bovard Hall, using the President's office as your dining hall and bathroom.

Over the past year I've been extremely impressed with USC's leadership and the way the university is run, and this further solidifies my positive impressions.


Blogger UGN said...

I love it! I wish they all dealt with these things in a similar manner. Now if we can just call the parents of the illegal aliens who protest in the streets...

10:00 AM  
Blogger Laura said...



10:02 AM  
Blogger Caitlin G. said...

The Daily Trojan's article on the matter quoted one protester as complaining that the University didn't "didn't recognize or treat us as adults." Seems to me that part of being adult is being called to account for and possibly being punished for your actions. Being treated as an adult means you accept the consequences for your actions. So if you are staging a loud disruptive protest, you have to expect that your opponents--whose property you are using by the way--are going to take action against you, not coddle you.

Sadly, I was at work when this incident happened and did not see what happened for myself. I cannot give any other commentary other than what I can base off of reports on the matter.

2:06 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

I couldn't have said it any better than that, gategirl. :)

Those students seem to have wanted the privileges of adulthood with none of the responsibility.

2:14 PM  
Blogger Ren said...

Since the President's waiting room was open to the anyone, and the students were not in anyone's way, the 'disruptions' would theoretically be from the rallying vigil outside... by students not sitting peacefully inside. If they want to charge with disruption, they charged the wrong group.

More importantly, they were forced to use buckets after USC lied to them, saying they would be allowed to use the bathrooms if escorted by security, but then refusing re-admittance to the first student taking them up on their offer.

Lastly, the seven year campaign has had many meetings with officials who failed to even consider their claims or speak with them in rational, adult negotiations.

Time to use the only weapon left - bad publicity against the university.

10:34 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

The only bad publicity created was for the students, not the university. The president's waiting room in not a camping spot, and the tactics the students attempted to use were juvenile.

One of the strange things about the students protesting is that not only did they feel "entitled" to camp out in the President's office, they seem to feel entitled to have their way on the issue at hand. The reality is that rational adults can disagree on the appropriate approaches to monitoring the conditions of whoever is creating USC's line of clothing.

There seems to be a factual conflict between USC being willing to hold "many meetings" with students but failing to "consider their claims." It sounds to me like the claims were considered and the university decided to move on. If failing to "consider their claims" means the university didn't agree with the students, that's life. Students can protest in public places, they can write newspapers and call TV stations, they can switch universities, but they're not necessarily entitled to have their way, whether it comes to a position on an issue or where they hold their protest.

Although I disagree with your perspective, thank you for sharing your point of view with the readers here.

Best wishes, Laura

11:10 AM  
Blogger Ren said...

Just clarify, there were not in his office, but in the waiting room outside his office -- which is not only public property, but is created explicitly for the purpose of waiting to speak with the president, which they were waiting to do. The students inside did not disrupt anything, and merely felt entitled to sit in an area open to anyone at USC.

By not listening to their concerns, I am referring to conversations that occurred involving irrelevant or immature arguments and a commitment to a current program that is self-monitoring and therefore inherently flawed.

5:13 PM  

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