It's Like Nobody's Ever Seen Animal House

Jeff Maurer looks at a reasoned response by an embattled college administrator: UC Santa Barbara Responds to Debauched, Topless Protests for Palestine.

As protests continue at campuses across the country, colleges have issued statements reaffirming their principles. The University of Chicago issued a forceful statement, and the University of Florida declared that they are “not a daycare”. Now, the University of California at Santa Barbara has issued a powerful statement addressing the disorder that has broken out on their campus. That statement is below.

Just an excerpt should tell you what the UCSB administration was forced to deal with:

I agree with Maurer that UCSB ("brought to you by Bud Light Lime") has set a useful precedent for other institutions of higher education.

But (as Jerry Coyne notes), the university on the other side of our state (and the other side of the country from UCSB) went in a different direction: A statement from Dartmouth’s President.

According to Vermont’s CBS station WCAX 3, Dartmouth arrested 90 protestors last night after they’d been warned that setting up a camp would mean that disciplinary action would be “imminent.” The protestors set up their camps anyway. And Bellock acted.

Police officers entered and arrested 90 protesters at a pro-Gaza encampment on the Dartmouth campus Wednesday night.

It started with a few hundred people gathering on the Dartmouth Green at about 6 p.m. Wednesday for a liberation rally. We have been told the group of protesters was made up of students and members of the general community.

According to one student, the protest had been peaceful, but school officials said if a camp was set up, there would be no further dialogue and disciplinary action would be “imminent.”

“We wanted this to be a peaceful protest and we have been peaceful the whole way through, but it’s really been frustrating to see the admin escalate without any justification,” said Calvin George, a Dartmouth senior.

Calvin George is yet another person who doesn’t recognize that “peaceful” protests are not necessarily protests permitted by college regulations, for even protests that are uneventful can impede the speech of others, as it has here (our Jewish students repeatedly have their banners and flags removed) or impede and disrupt the functioning of the university. It is, as Jon Haidt has emphasized, the difference between Truth University and Social Justice University. They can sometimes conflict, as they have during many of the “encampments.” President Bellock explains why below.

You can click over to read Bellock's humor-free missive. Unfortunately, the lack of jocularity alse extended to Dartmouth faculty, as reported by our local TV station: Dartmouth professor arrested during protest.

Professor Annelise Orleck, 65, said the Dartmouth Green was unrecognizable Wednesday night when police moved in to make arrests. She said she was trying to protect students when she was knocked down, and her phone was taken from her.

I assume Professor Orleck was engaging in a tactic made popular elsewhere: linking arms with a cohort of like-minded people to form a "human wall" to prevent law enforcement from thwarting the attempt of "protestors" to set up an encampment, which they were informed beforehand would not be tolerated; it wasn't a Dean Wormer-style douple-secret prohibition.

And honestly, Annelise, nobody wants to see your sweater puppies either.

A similar scenario played out at the University Near Here, with fewer arrests. The New Hampshire chapter of the ACLU deplored this.

“While the situation is still developing, we are highly concerned that police, many in riot gear, appear to have moved quickly and forcefully into protests at the University of New Hampshire and Dartmouth College campuses. Use of police force against protestors should never be a first resort.

“Freedom of speech and the right to demonstrate are foundational principles of democracy and core constitutional rights. We urge university and government leaders to create environments that safeguard constitutionally protected speech.

My first reaction: seriously?

More reasoned response: UNH and Dartmouth have every right to impose reasonable "time, place, and manner" regulations on campus demonstrations. This is a well-established principle of First Amendment law. And there doesn't seem to be any question that they did so here. ACLU-NH ignores this issue entirely. As did Annelise. And hence neither has to deal with the question: what should these schools have done instead?

Also of note:

  • Which they will probably blow. NR's Nic Dunn claims the present day is Conservatives’ Golden Opportunity to Win the Minimum-Wage Argument.

    California’s new $20-an-hour minimum wage for fast-food workers has again sparked a familiar debate about upward mobility. In an election year, with more voters paying attention than usual, policy debates take on added weight. This offers free-market conservatives a unique opportunity to win over persuadable voters by articulating a compelling vision of opportunity that’s framed in moral, rather than purely economic, language.

    While it’s important to recognize that minimum-wage hikes can indeed have unintended consequences, conservatives should emphasize the harmful impact of the hikes on workers, a point articulated well by the American Enterprise Institute’s Beth Akers.

    “It’s precisely these most vulnerable workers in our economy who are probably the ones who need the most support and are most likely to lose from these sorts of policies,” Akers said during a recent episode of Sutherland Institute’s Defending Ideas podcast. “If what we care about are the people who are most economically vulnerable. . . . these sorts of policies are actually pushing in the wrong direction.”

    Up in this corner of the country, I've found it near-impossible to avoid TV ads sponsored by the Massachusetts Coalition for Independent Work, a coalition of app-based companies (Uber, Lyft, Doordash,…) trying to defeat legislation that would classify drivers as employees (subject to a host of regulations) instead of independent contractors (which aren't).

    It would be nice if the fights were over getting less regulation for the labor market, instead of defending the statist status quo.

  • Inanity, thy name is Thune. What is it with South Dakota anyway. First Noem, now… The Inanity of Politicians Talking Trade, the poster boy being the state's senior senator:

    An example of just how bonkers – and bipartisanly so – are many allegedly serious discussions by political types of trade is found in this short report on a recent hearing on Capitol Hill. In this hearing, Sen. John Thune (R-SD) complained about America’s trade deficit in agricultural goods. And U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai (also at this hearing) apparently treated this complaint as if it is economically meaningful.

    But of course an “ag trade deficit” is no more economically meaningful than is a “yellow-things trade deficit” or a “things-bigger-than-a-breadbasket trade surplus.” There is absolutely no reason to expect that a country will export – during any year or over time – the same amount of agricultural products that it imports. Indeed, because of the principle of comparative advantage, each country will import things that it doesn’t produce at home and export different things. In short, countries are supposed to have so-called ‘trade deficits’ in some things and so-called ‘trade surpluses’ in other things.

    That's from Don Boudreaux at Cafe Hayek, who's not averse to calling "bonkers".

  • Trying to pull some facts back out of the memory hole. Scott Johnson joins in the Power Line pushback on efforts to rehabilitate a lousy, disgraced "journalist": Rather full of it. Scott viewed the recent Netflix documentary (a sycophantic, soft-focus tongue bath). I did want to point this out:

    Former CBS News producer Wayne Nelson weighs in: “Was it planned [i.e, planned to disgrace CBS News] — we’ll never know.” According to Douglas Brinkley, those wily Republicans have become adept at coming up “with schemes.” In the world of Rather, we are to kneel down and give thanks for the innocence of Democrats, left-wing historians, and reporters such as Rather.

    It's a conspiracy, I tellz ya! I'm sure Brinkley and Nelson could get Hillary Clinton to chime in on that.

  • Asking and answering the important questions. Via Marginal Revolution: Who wrote the music for In My Life? Three Bayesian analyses. It is from Andrew Gelman is a professor of statistics and political science at Columbia University. (Unarrested, as far as I know.):

    A Beatles fan pointed me to this news item from a few years ago, “A Songwriting Mystery Solved: Math Proves John Lennon Wrote ‘In My Life.'” This surprised me, because in his memoir, Many Years from Now, Paul McCartney very clearly stated that he, Paul, wrote it.

    Also, the news report is from NPR. Who you gonna trust, NPR or Paul McCartney? The question pretty much answers itself.

    And the bottom line is:

    Moral of the story: Don’t trust NPR.

    Comments are pretty good too.