Is Sarah Lawrence College busing its students to Wall Street protests?

In a previous post, I opined that spoiled kids who don’t want to deal with their student loans are one of the motivating forces behind the Wall Street protests.  Flush with neo-1960s pride, students have been pouring out of classrooms.  That’s not news.  One expects that from the young, Marxist-informed and excitable.

What is news (assuming it’s true) is that at least one college is helping its students get on the bus.  Literally.  A friend of a Facebook friend is a student at Sarah Lawrence, and claims that it is providing free shuttle bus services for students who want to join the protest. That’s the only source I have for this claim, so consider it currently unverified and worthy of investigation, not quotation.  Right now, I’m just asking questions.

So, does anybody have further information on a student’s claim that Sarah Lawrence College itself (rather than a third party) is providing free shuttles to take kids from school to Wall Street?  And if Sarah Lawrence is indeed busing kids into New York for protests, are any other colleges doing so?

For those who don’t know, Sarah Lawrence is a private college in Yonkers.  On its “tuition and financial aid” page, the very first thing it tells prospective students is that they’re eligible for loans:

All Sarah Lawrence students are welcome to apply for financial aid administered by the College. Applicants who are U.S. citizens, nationals, or permanent residents are required to first apply for all external aid sources, including state and federal funds. International Students may also apply, but federal and state resources are not available to non U.S. citizens.

The reason behind this emphasis is obvious when you check out the tuition:  One year of education and housing (but not food) at Sarah Lawrence will run you (your parents, or the taxpayers funding your loan) a cool $56,282.00.  No wonder the students are so enthusiastic about getting their loans excused.

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Comments

  1. Mike Devx says

    At the Wall Street Protests,
    Interviewer: “So, young lady, I hear you all claim you’re just like the Tea Party.”

    Girl: “We’re the REAL Tea Party.  Except we’re not racists.”

    Interviewer: “The Tea Party are racists.”

    Girl: “Sure. They’re ALL white.”

    Interviewer, looking around, “Actually I was at several Tea Party events.  This crowd is more white than theirs. You guys are all white.”

    Girl: “But we’re not racists. We *love* black people. I mean, people of color. All people of all color.” She sees another microphone and her face contorts viciously. “FIGHT THE OPPRESSION!” she screams, spittle flying. “OFF WITH THEIR HEADS!  NO PEACE, NO JUSTICE!”

    Interviewer: “There’s a *lot* of rage here.  Look over there… and over there… they’re screaming, ranting hate.”

    Girl: “There’s plenty to be angry about!”

    Interviewer: “I thought the Tea Partiers were supposed to be the violent, angry ones.  At those events, people were gathered peacefully, walking around, talking quietly.  Cheering.  I’m not sure I saw anyone ranting the way I see here. They never pushed the police protection against barricades and screamed at them, the way they are here.  I was never nervous there, I’m plenty nervous here with all the violence in the air.”

    Girl, peering and squinting. “Ha. I see now. That’s because you’re one of the enemy.”

    Interviewer: “The enemy?  You mean… Iran?”

    Girl: “Oh, just go away.”
     

  2. Mike Devx says

    No protester with any self-respect at all would EVER accept a chartered bus trip to their protest.  That’s like being dropped off by your mommy and daddy.

    So these self-indulgent, lazy, full-of-entitlement protesters are on their chartered bus.  Doing all that “Comrade Bolshevik” crap that they do on such field trips.  I wonder what they chant and sing, holding hands across the aisles, swaying?

    “98 student loans there on the wall
     98 student loans!
     Cancel the debt
     Blame the Jews better yet
     97 student loans there on the wall.

      97 student loans there on the wall
      97 student loans!
      …”

     

  3. yingfa0916 says

    Hello,
    I created an account just to leave you a message. I am not going to comment on Occupy Wall Street, I will comment on your antagonizing of Sarah Lawrence students. I graduated from Sarah Lawrence in 2009 via financial aid, NY TAP, and only some loans. My mother only makes 25K a year for 3 daughters. I worked 3 jobs while studying at Sarah Lawrence and through my own hard work I paid off my student loans. I take offense to your attitude that seems to encompass the entire student population on that campus. While there may be some people that are better off, there are actually many students at Sarah Lawrence who do not fall into that “rich spoiled” category you seem to lump us all into. The tuition is not high because they want to make money off of us, the tuition is high for many reasons- some I agree with, some I do not agree with. However the point of my reply was not to discuss the tuition, but your attitude.
     
    Emily

  4. Mike Devx says

    Emily,
    Thank you for your comment.  My particular riff was not directed specifically at anything “Sarah Lawrence”, but at the idea itself of taking a chartered bus to a protest.  What kind of a real protester would take a chartered bus to a protest?

    I was a child during the 60′s protests, and I’m thinking particularly of Woodstock here.  The teenagers and young adults hitchhiked, walked, did anything they could to get there.  A chartered bus would have been viewed by that semi-authentic crew as smacking of “The Man”, and they’d have had nothing to do with it.  (One would hope.)

    Norman Spinrad was the one, I think, who coined the phrase “Baby Bolsheviks” back then for the set of dilettante protesters who hardly knew anything about what they were protesting, or what they stood for, beyond vague aphorisms such as “Make Love Not War”.  I stand with him and that is the basis of my riff.  Not anything particular to “Sarah Lawrence”.  Except for the evidence of the chartered bus.  Which is sad and pathetic.  And anyone on that bus remains to me sad and pathetic.  A free ride organized for you by multi-million dollar institution?  Pathetic.

    That’s regardless of goals and means of the protest, whether I agree or otherwise.  Of course, in this Occupy WallStreet protest, I’m opposed.

  5. suek says

    >>I am not going to comment on Occupy Wall Street, I will comment on your antagonizing of Sarah Lawrence students. I graduated from Sarah Lawrence in 2009 via financial aid, NY TAP, and only some loans. My mother only makes 25K a year for 3 daughters. I worked 3 jobs while studying at Sarah Lawrence and through my own hard work I paid off my student loans. I take offense to your attitude that seems to encompass the entire student population on that campus.>>

    2 questions:

    a) do you know if in fact there _is_ or _is not_ a bus chartered to transport Sarah Lawrence students to the demonstrations?

    b) it sounds like you worked hard for your education, both during and after your college education. Would you say that your situation, experience and efforts are typical of the majority at Sarah Lawrence?

    Ok…a third question…

    Why do you allow yourself to be offended?

  6. suek says

    >>The tuition is not high because they want to make money off of us, the tuition is high for many reasons>>

    Could you explain to us what some of those reasons are? examples of both the ones you agree with and those you disagree with would be welcome…

    And …

    Regardless of why you created an account…

    Welcome!

  7. LaughingBoy says

    Hey, I’m just here to clear things up as a student of Sarah Lawrence. First of all, Emily I feel your pain, I also have two jobs to support myself in addition to the generous financial aid Sarah Lawrence has provided me. One of those jobs is in fundraising. My understanding of why Sarah Lawrence’s tuition is high is not only because of the extremely low student to faculty ratio, meaning fewer students to pay professor salaries, but also because historically, Sarah Lawrence’s budgeting philosophy was that students should pay their own way through the school (and yes this probably meant their parents paying their way). This attitude has since changed, and in fact, more than 60% of our students are on financial aid, but despite the change, most other schools had a jump start on us in terms of establishing a strong endowment. I know that a number of Ivy League school crew teams have larger endowments than our entire college. On a more speculative note, I imagine that the graduates of Ivys who got our country into this financial mess and are far more capable of donating money to their alma maters, since more of their graduates are men (Sarah Lawrence is still around 75% female), who to this day are statistically paid more than women and had better chances of being promoted in their places of work. As a disclaimer, nothing I’m saying here has been approved by Sarah Lawrence, and my percentages are probably one or two percent off, I’m just a student. As far as this “chartered bus” is concerned, any student can fill out a simple form and reserve a van for a specific event. Sarah Lawrence students have to go through a training course and exam in order to be certified to drive these vans, but they are neither chartered nor luxurious. As far as I know, most of my friends schools have had similar van situations (Fordham’s vans are particularly nice). I did receive a facebook message, but it was about looking for a certified student van driver for the event, a chartered bus would have its own driver.  Hopefully this cleared some things up.

  8. Mike Devx says

    LaughingBoy,
    Thank you, your information does help clarify, and it ameliorates the worst conceptions I have of the institution deliberately providing “chartered busing” to the Occupy Protests as a special event rather than via the usual requisition process of a community service that is available (apparently) for any purpose.

    But it still seems to me that the chartered bus being free it makes it too “easy”.  Still, what you describe is closer in conception to a group of 60s protesters hiring a van driver to get them to the protest (pooling their meager resources) and all of them packing into the back of the van for the trip.  At least in the scenario you describe, one person must exercise self-initiative to get the chartered trip going, and then recruit the rest of the protesters to join the trip.

    By the way, I *am* sympathetic to the plight caused by soaring college costs.  Something is deeply wrong in academia, and I place the blame on bloated bureaucratic staffing and the costs of ritzy communal student services.  Whatever the cause, college tuition costs have been soaring beyond all reasonable bounds.  A day of reckoning is coming.

     

  9. LaughingBoy says

    I myself don’t fully understand why college prices have risen so dramatically in relation to the costs of other things in this country, but I do think that something is going to have to give in that regard. My mother put herself through vassar with very little assistance from her parents, but the thought of doing that today is certainly more formidable. The money I make doesn’t do a whole lot more than cover my book expenses and costs of living, even with the money i save over summers. As far as the Occupy WallStreet protesters go, I do support them, though I don’t have much leisure time between school and work, and haven’t yet had a chance to get down there. Many of them have been doing silly and embarrassing things, but it disappoints me that those who aren’t thinking before acting are being allowed to characterize the protest as a whole. Additionally, this is a movement primarily backed by the youth, and young people in groups are going to act up and get excited, but I think that’s a risk you run if you want to maintain a robust democracy.

  10. Mike Devx says

    > Many of them have been doing silly and embarrassing things, but it disappoints me that those who aren’t thinking before acting are being allowed to characterize the protest as a whole.

    It’s fun to ridicule them, and they’re so easy to ridicule…

    Worse, though, is the complete acceptance of filth, excrement and waste.  I do *not* equate this with the Young.  I guarantee you, if a group of “The Young” Tea Partiers organized a one-month sit-in occupy protest, it would look nothing like this rotting pile of stench, filth and excrement.  They would not put up with it.  Different standards would be enforced.

    And that is a telling difference.  It’s a question of civilized behavior vs barbarism.
     

  11. Mike Devx says

    LaughingBoy says: As far as the Occupy WallStreet protesters go, I do support them, though I don’t have much leisure time between school and work, and haven’t yet had a chance to get down there.

    LaughingBoy, I suspect many, many students are in your situation.  By that I mean, they are sympathetic, but due to “school and work” they have not been there.

    It is to your credit, in my opinion.  It is no accident that “between school and work”, you have not been able to join them.  You are certainly not alone.  I urge you to re-evaluate the worth of what’s going on at that protest, but aside from that, I commend you.

    Your personal, individual decision to sacrifice an apparent urge to join the protest in favor of better considerations –  on school and work  is commendable.  I, personally, Thank You!
     

  12. suek says

    >>I myself don’t fully understand why college prices have risen so dramatically in relation to the costs of other things in this country…>>

    If I had a link to a good graph, I’d link it, but I don’t. I suspect, however, that if someone graphed the funds available from government grants against the cost of colleges, there’s be a definite synchronicity.

    The interesting thing – well, one interesting thing – is that I haven’t seen any demonstrators protesting the fact that prior to Obama’s term in office, student loans were financed through banks. There was the option of filing for bankruptcy. Even though that’s not exactly a desirable option, it _was_ an option. Obama’s administration has taken over the student loans. Bankruptcy is no longer an option. You’re stuck with that debt for your lifetime or until it’s paid off – which ever comes first. Yet the Occupiers are complaining about the banks! They don’t owe the banks – they owe the government!

    >>any student can fill out a simple form and reserve a van for a specific event>>

    I’m unclear on this…so if you wanted to attend the Occupy event, you could reserve a van – even if you alone wanted to go? Are there any requirements for a minimum number of passengers? It could be – in effect – your personal van if you wanted to go to an event no one else wanted to attend?

    And…by the way … what _is_ the student to professor ratio?

  13. emrog says

    You need to investigate your facts instead of basing them off of a contextless Facebook post and then saying “oh well, I’ll just write an entire post assuming what I saw was true, and then add in my own baseless assumptions at that!” The internet spreads false opinions like wildfire.

    It is true that Sarah Lawrence student groups provided for a couple 15-passenger vans, driven by students, to take those that willingly signed up for a spot down to the protest. Since when would one call this “chartering a bus”? It would otherwise cost Sarah Lawrence students $18 in total to go down to the protest. Is this self-indulgent?
    “But it still seems to me that the chartered bus being free it makes it too ‘easy’” So, to invoke the Woodstock example you gave, if one wanted to attend the event and lived in California, would buying a plane ticket be “lazy”? Should we make it as difficult as possible for anyone to go anywhere, just to make sure they “really mean it”? This is incredibly flimsy logic. But in any case I’m guessing you would have hitchhiked to Woodstock if you lived in California.

    I am not going to comment on Occupy, because frankly I do not care if I change your opinion on that matter. But I DO care about libel against an institution that has been so generous to me. Sarah Lawrence College was founded without an endowment, and it has only been around since the 1920s. 80% of their operating fees are covered by tuition for this reason. If you think Sarah Lawrence is trying to make money off its students, why is their endowment only $43,000 per student? Princeton’s endowment-per-student is 50 times that amount. Now who is trying to make money?
    Lastly, Sarah Lawrence is a private institution. The gas for the vans was not funded by any government or taxpayer money. Honestly, Christian colleges probably bus their students around all the time to attend religious events. People who go to Sarah Lawrence choose to go here, and they also can choose to go to Occupy. If they don’t like where a tiny fraction of their activities fee is going, they can leave. They can also have a voice in deciding where that money should go in the future instead. But generally, student activities money goes to things people disagree with all the time. I’m sure you probably didn’t like your college providing funds for the College Democrats?
    Please check your facts before you make such broad assumptions about an entire school.

  14. says

    Tuition raises for the same reason the wages of union members are raised. To keep the Democrat loyalists content in Academia, as everyone else’s standard of living decreases, theirs increases and thus their loyalty is kept.

     

  15. LaughingBoy says

    That’s an interesting point about the change in who students are taking out loans from. I get so bogged down in the rates that I barely read where i’m actually borrowing the money from. I believe the van requires a minimum of 8 passengers. I want to say the student to faculty ratio is like 1-14 now or something. I know our professors have been taking pay hits and had some sort of freeze over the last few years, there are definitely financially better places to be in academia, but professors here have unparalleled control over how they structure courses and there’s less institutional pressure (or requirement) for them to publish regularly in their field, freeing up time for really engaging with students. I think most of them are able to accept a lower rate of pay for these reasons.

  16. suek says

    >>I think most of them are able to accept a lower rate of pay for these reasons.>>

    Have you any idea what the average pay rate is for their professors? Or a pay range?

    To be honest, I know nothing about Sarah Lawrence, and at this point I haven’t researched anything about it. Guess I’ll have to do that. Does Sarah Lawrence get Federal funding of any sort?

    There’s a big difference between private institutions and public institutions, I think, and in addition, the government inserts itself into even private institutions if they allow it. It takes strong principles to refuse “free” money when it’s offered, but it’s never offered without strings.

    I’ll try to find a link to the student loan thing – later…

  17. says

    With these systems, what you will find is that they are guaranteed pay raises or budget increases. So a cut can be a simple thing of freezing the levels at current standards for awhile.

     I have heard nothing concerning college teachers and what they pay teacher’s unions. That in itself is very suspicious.

  18. says

    Emrog (#14): 

    I see from your email address that you are affiliated with Sarah Lawrence.  I hope to God you’re not a teacher, because if that’s the case, the students at SL really are not getting much for their money.  And if you’re a student, your parents (or the taxpayers funding your student loan) are wasting their money. 

    If you had bothered to read what I wrote, I was seeking information — and, indeed, highlighted (in bright red, yet) the fact that I was seeking information.  I was open and honest about my sources and their limitations.  I also pointed out that, to me at least, it’s peculiar that students enjoying a $250,000 education would feel the need to traipse on down to Wall Street and claim that they’re anything but part of the nation’s top 1%. 

    It’s almost impressive that you managed to gather from my explicit statements to the contrary that I was asserting baseless facts, rather than stating known facts, properly identifying hearsay, and then seeking further information.  Even more impressive is the fact that, after completely misreading what I wrote, you went on to scold me.  Well, here I am, scolding you back. 

    Now that we’ve established that you don’t read or interpret data very well, let’s move on to the fact that you don’t argue very well.  I asked (not told, asked) if it was true that Sarah Lawrence College was chartering vans to take its well-heeled student body down to New York to play at being an oppressed underclass.  (Although I didn’t state it so crudely, that was certainly the point I was trying to make.)  

    After snidely, and inaccurately, accusing me of spreading lies, you concede that at least two busloads of SLC students have headed down to NYC to slum with the 99%.  You then make a totally inane and pointless cost-benefit argument about the relative difference in value between students traveling from their well-heeled luxury in a pack versus individually. 

    My issue, of course, was to try to learn whether the college was providing vans.  Your little comment fails to answer that question.  In one paragraph, you say that the students chartered the vans, implying that they paid for them.  In the next paragraph, you imply that the students paid only for gas, while SL student activities paid for the vans themselves. 

    Speaking of irrelevant, who cares what Princeton’s endowment is?  And was I arguing about whether SLC is a profit center?  Noooo.  I was just pointing out, and I’ll point out again, and still again, that there’s something unseemly about students at institutions unaffordable to most Americans playing at being oppressed. 

    I’m being harsh here, and I’m usually not.  I’m probably in a grumpy mood today, but I also dislike being scolded by people who can’t read, can’t analyze, and can’t argue. 

  19. suek says

    For those of you supporting the OWS movement, you might take time to read this(link below).  From my readings, I believe there _are_ those on Wall Street – and in DC – who should be held to account, but who, and why are the first question.  The second question is why have they _not_ been held to account?  And whose job _is_ it to hold them to account?  The answer is not on Wall Street, I think!
     
    http://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?post=195649

  20. emrog says

    “My issue, of course, was to try to learn whether the college was providing vans.  Your little comment fails to answer that question.  In one paragraph, you say that the students chartered the vans, implying that they paid for them.  In the next paragraph, you imply that the students paid only for gas, while SL student activities paid for the vans themselves.”
    I probably was not clear: these are vans owned by the college, not private companies. Anyone can request one of these vans for any given event, at any given time when the vans are available. Indeed, any group of students on their own initiative can request a van from the school. Those vans are owned by the school and thus funded by the school–gas included. But where the van goes is entirely up to the students. Students also choose whether or not they sign up for the bus. I never meant to imply the students paid for them. I also do not understand why you continue to use “busloads” to describe the amount of students that used such vans. These, to be sure, are not charter buses. The logic that using a vehicle is somehow bourgeois and renders any opinion behind Occupy illegitimate confuses me. You must admit there is a logical fallacy here that because Sarah Lawrence students have more money than the average population, they can never have legitimate opinions about the rich and express them, nor can they ever understand the “99%”. However misleading, the 1% Occupy refers to is by and large corporations, of which SLC students are not a part. Even so, could a Wall Street banker not have opinions about his employer? Could anyone who uses money not be allowed to speak negatively of the banks who make it flow? Do we need to determine who has “a right” to join any given movement? Hypocrisy has no bearing on logic, sad to say.
    The rest of your attack is relatively ad hominem, and I would have to admit I have few responses to it. I certainly did read your entire post and understand very clearly that you never at any point explicitly stated that your assumptions were facts. I would, though, like to point out that bringing up questionable information and going on to write a post “assuming it’s true” (in your words) has certain implications.

  21. Charles Martel says

    Of course the children at Sarah Lawrence have a right to comment on the wealth they have ridden into town on. But it does strain the credulity of intelligent people that imply that those comments really carry any weight. I’m sure that Marie Antoinette had strong opinions about the plight of the poor when she pretended to be one of them at Le Petit Trianon, but as we saw at the Place de la Révolution a couple of years later, her opinions swayed nobody.

  22. emrog says

    Regardless of the hypocrisy and the depth of experience, rich people can still make valid points and hold valid opinions about wealth distribution in America. I was not saying these opinions will/will not get taken seriously, nor was I saying they are as valuable as voices from those personally affected by poverty. But during the civil rights movement, could white voices not make attempts to understand the black experience? Should the leaders have denied whites access to their movement and counted them out completely, telling them to go back home? This is an imperfect example, but my point is that originating from a position of privilege is not something one can change, but instead is something one can seek to understand. I don’t see how what SLC students are doing is different.

  23. Charles Martel says

    “Also, originating from privilege does not mean one endorses that privilege or doesn’t wish to change the fact of that privilege.”

    Hmmm. A simple demonstration of that desire would be to quit attending an elitist school like Sarah Lawrence, or at least reject Mummy and Daddy’s tuition payments and slog through on one’s own.

    But we both know it’s easier to live in one’s head than it is to live in a world where actually making good on noble talking points requires sacrifice.

    Long story short, it’s very hard for the adults here to take spoiled brats seriously.

  24. Charles Martel says

    PS, one also has to accept that the “99%” actually know what they are talking about when it comes to wealth in America. So far, no indication whatsoever that any of them have a clue. I seriously doubt that any student from Sarah Lawrence who elects to throw in with the demonstrators in NYC has any insights about the U.S. economy that are not warmed-over—and long ago disproven—socialist/Marxist tropes.

  25. emrog says

    One can critique a system that one benefits from. By the “fact of that privilege” I meant to imply the fact that the broader system of injustice exists. I wrote a lengthy paragraph about why one person deciding to give up one’s privilege would not cue a wave of other people doing the same, but that is a lengthy argument. The main point is: people can donate to charity to reduce their personal privilege all they want, but what many people at Occupy are asking for is broader governmental reforms.
     
    …[Cue disparaging remarks about socialism.]…
     
    The difference here is that you emphasize the individual and I (and quite possibly many people at Sarah Lawrence who went to Occupy) emphasize a system.  This would be a very long argument that has little relevance to the original topic. I am also not going to argue about the merits of Occupy Wall Street itself. The main point of all of this is that Sarah Lawrence, a private institution in any case, was in no way forcing or encouraging its students to elect to go to OWS. But I will now allow you the courtesy of adding any additional insults you want to throw out there.

  26. Charles Martel says

    Please define the “broader system of injustice.” I am curious as to what that means.

    Likewise, please specify the “broader governmental reforms” you refer to.

    It is not insulting to point out the intellectual vacuity of Sarah Lawrence students or of socialism. Both points are provable, and such proofs do not constitute insults in any meaningful sense of the word.

  27. emrog says

    Sorry, I edited things out for conciseness’ sake. I cannot define what this system means for everyone. For me, it is the system of limited social mobility in which certain people (including, most certainly, a large majority of Sarah Lawrence students, I might add) are given certain advantages for being born into the right family, and certain others are disadvantaged through no doing of their own. And in terms of policy, those individuals with more money tend to have greater influence, setting up a relatively self-perpetuating system that no one single person can take down on their own. I am not saying these issues are solvable, nor am I suggesting that these are universally accepted as issues/concerns of note in the first place. I am also not suggesting that a single OWS protester agrees with me on this topic or that this is the focus of OWS as a whole.
     
    I cannot speak to the governmental reforms, as different people at OWS are asking for different things. Some examples might include health care, education, corporate responsibility, and tax policy reform.
    But what I think is not relevant to this discussion or the point I tried to make. If you wish, you are welcome to respond to and argue with these points, but my mind is not likely to change, and neither is yours. I see no point in debating these very incompatible ideas, especially when all I came here for is to clarify why and how SLC vans took students to Wall Street. Anyone else is welcome to debate these essential political and philosophical issues, but I will likely not reply–not because I don’t have a coherent argument, but because it is simply not worth my time.
     
    Lastly, I was referring to labels such as “brat” that I found rather unnecessary and took away from the message and logic of your otherwise consistently sound argument.

  28. Charles Martel says

    Professor, it was enjoyable talking to you.

    Just a parting thought: Limited social mobility is a very relative notion. No other country on earth has more of it than the United States. It may pain you that many children will never be able to matriculate from Sarah Lawrence, but judging from the quality of elite school graduates these days, that may be a hidden blessing.

  29. suek says

    >>Anyone else is welcome to debate these essential political and philosophical issues, but I will likely not reply–not because I don’t have a coherent argument, but because it is simply not worth my time.>>
     
    Wow.
     
    So…why are you wasting your time in college? 
     
    You don’t consider debating essential political and philosophical issues to be a valid part of your education??

  30. says

    Emrog:

    It’s rather courageous of you to come here at 18 and argue your position.  You get kudos for that.  I’ll even apologize to you for lecturing you the other day.  Regular readers know that’s not usually my style, but I really hate to be falsely accused — and that’s what I felt you were doing.  So, I’m sorry for hectoring you.  You hit a nerve and I was grumpy.

    Having said that, I suggest that you look at things from our point of view (“our” meaning older people who grew up in an era that expected more personal responsibility).  One of the things we know about the banks that you might not know is that they are heavily legislated.  For example, the whole home loan debacle resulted because Democrat enacted legislation forced banks to give loans to poor risk borrowers.  Normally, banks would never have made such loans but the Democrats, desperately wanting to boast that everyone on their watch had a house, forced the banks into insanely stupid business practices.  The banks bundled and sold the loans (mostly to government) as fast as possible, because they knew the were holding bad debt.

    The same hold true for student loans.  You young people are a horrible risk.  In my day (and I’m not even that old), loans were scaled to earning potential.  Also, because the system expected students to pay the loans back, rather than assuming defaults, students also scaled their expectations to earning potential.  Now, it’s free money to deadbeats.  Kids borrow hundreds of thousands of dollars to get degrees that have no market value, and dubious educational value.  This goes a long way to explaining your ridiculous tuition costs (this and tenure, which is another painful economic subject).  

    One more bank story:  Jay Leno is making jokes, and people are incensed about the fact, that banks are now charging $5 per month for those who use debit cards.  It’s an insane thing to do and the banks know it.  They would never do that kind of thing in a freer marketplace.  But unfortunately for banks and consumers, the Democrats passed a law saying that banks can’t pass debit card processing (and risk) costs to merchants.  The costs were still there, but they were invisible and they were spread much more widely.  Now, every person is preemptively charged $5.

    I’m neither friend nor foe of banks.  I believe in fair rules and open information.  What I don’t believe in his a Democrat legislature that tells the banks how to do business (give bad loans, don’t charge people for this so that you have to charge them for that, etc.), and that then joins the crowd with pitchforks when the banks inevitably draw wrath for legislatively imposed practices.

    Keep reading conservative blogs.  You may hate and disagree with everything you read, but you’ll have a much better rounded view of the world than if you stick to your Sarah Lawrence curriculum.

  31. Charles Martel says

    I took a look at the Sarah Lawrence website to see what the campus offers.

    No surprises: the usual dreary and useless leftist standbys, such as women’s studies and queer studies, are listed along with legitimate courses like history and philosophy, and there’s a fierce dedication to a undefined thing called “social justice.” Below is text describing the campus’s political correctness enforcers. Note the final sentence of the second paragraph—classic (italics mine)!

    About the Office of Diversity and Campus Engagement

    The Office of Diversity and Campus Engagement works with its programming and funding arm the Diversity and Activism Programming Subcommittee of Student Life (DAPS) to provide student centered ]sic] programs that focus all [sic] aspects of diversity. In order to make campus climate changes, it is important to think about diversity efforts as sustainable.

    The office sponsors a weekly dialogue group, the F.E.A.R. Project (Focusing on Ever Active Resistance to oppression), which focuses on understanding our intersecting identities and experiences.  The F.E.A.R. Project’s goal is to eradicate resistance to confronting oppression, identity bias, -isms, and exclusion.

    Note that “oppression” is not defined. This vagueness is a common tactic non-democratic groups use to control turf by declaring whatever they choose to be so a crime, or wrong thought, or misdeed. It’s an immense power that allows them to get around such bourgeoise niceties as logic or due process.

    Nor are “isms” defined. What the hell is an ism? Does Ismism include all isms? Are Sarah Lawrence students allowed under this PC regime to confront lesbianism? Socialism? Transvestism? Buddhism? Also, may a student, without prior permission, create a new ism, or does it require approval by F.E.A.R. lest somebody, somewhere, somewhen take offense?
     
     
     

  32. emrog says

    suek–No, it is not really worth my time to argue with people whose opinions I will never change online when I am rather occupied “wasting my time in college” writing papers debating said “essential political and philosophical issues.” This is a tiresome debate. It is especially unproductive when I first have to defend parts of my personhood (e.g., “I hope to god you’re not a teacher,” “spoiled brat,” “wasting time in college”, etc.). The debate has now, following your comment, turned to a discussion of how I should spend my time, what blogs I should read, and who I should speak to and who I should ignore, which is very far from the point I came here to discuss.
     
    And at the author, thank you; I am a woman no less.

  33. Charles Martel says

    “. . . when I am rather occupied “wasting my time in college” writing papers debating said “essential political and philosophical issues.” This is a tiresome debate. It is especially unproductive when I first have to defend parts of my personhood (e.g., “I hope to god you’re not a teacher,” “spoiled brat,” “wasting time in college”, etc.).

    emrog, when you are “writing papers debating essential political and philosophical issues” at school, is your intent to change minds? If not, why not? Isn’t it the nature of debate to nudge opponents into a different way of seeing things?

    I’m going to answer my own question. Given what I’ve seen on your school’s website, “debate” really means coming to agreement with the politically acceptable and correct definitions of such airy concepts as “social justice” and “diversity.” Do you think you would be allowed to oppose Sarah Lawrence’s official stances on sexual or racial politics without suffering some consequence?

    I think it perplexes you that people here find that some of the concepts you are being taught to revere are undemocratic, coercive and nonsensical. If you don’t yet feel equipped to challenge us here, then please send us one of your professors or graduate students. We’re used to debating credentialed leftists. It’s not only entertaining for both sides, it allows younger people like you, looking in from the sidelines, to see just how closed and reactionary much of academia has become.

  34. Mike Devx says

    emrog says: especially when all I came here for is to clarify why and how SLC vans took students to Wall Street.

    For all of emrog’s words in the above comments, emrog didn’t add very much information beyond what laughingboy had already provided.  The only new information I saw is that at least eight people must sign up before the van is allocated.  Also, that gas is free, included in the trip as well.

    emrog asked me (concerning my comment that it still seems to me that what SL provides makes it all too “easy”) if a plane trip from California would similarly be too easy.   My answer is, if that plane trip were free, yes.  But it’s a minor point either way, and just an opinion I happen to have.  

    Book’s original question was answered by laughingboy and it appears laughingboy’s information was correct.  In Book’s post she states (and asks): A friend of a Facebook friend is a student at Sarah Lawrence, and claims that it is providing free shuttle bus services for students who want to join the protest. [...] does anybody have further information on a student’s claim that Sarah Lawrence College itself (rather than a third party) is providing free shuttles to take kids from school to Wall Street?

    Laughingboy’s info suggests to me that the answer to Book’s question is ‘yes’.  I think Sarah Lawrence’s setup does amount to “free shuttles” – assuming they’ve not all already been requisitioned by the students for other activities.
     
    As for the rest of emrog’s outrage at Book’s post, her outrage appears to be directed at one sentence of Book’s: One expects that from the young, Marxist-informed and excitable.
     
    Nothing emrog wrote would (yet) disqualify Book’s statement.  It’s possible that Sarah Lawrence is not chock full of professors who provide Marxist rhetoric rather than free-market rhetoric.  I rather doubt it, and nothing I’ve read yet changes that doubt.

  35. Danny Lemieux says

    When attending the welcoming ceremony at the university in which my son would begin his educational path, I heard the chancellor pronounce loftily that her university did not believe in linking education to the development of skills for an economic benefit, but that really the objective was education for the value of education itself”. Fortunately, my son saw through this and soon left that university

    One of the phenomena noted over time is how, every time the government announced that they would implement a new and improved student aid program, universities would raise tuitions and fees to soak-up the difference. Very little if any of that money went to improvements in education, most went to boosted salaries and bloated bureaucracies. The students simply became conduits for increased transfers of wealth from taxpayers to universities. Universities, meanwhile, expanded their product lines with false advertising, creating BS programs with no possibility of ever creating economic futures for their students while advertising to the students that a college degree, any college degree, would translate into a materially improved future. They lied!

    The role of the Obama administration in facilitating this fraud by capturing the “student aid” business away from banks while removing the ability of students to escape their debt obligation altogether has already been addressed by previous posters.

    What I don’t understand is why so few students and parents have caught onto what has happened. I do feel sorry for so many of these students. They and their parents (i.e., adults who should certainly have known better) got hoodwinked and they are now saddled with unsustainable debt by virtue of having been defrauded. What these 99%-er students (“we are legion!”) don’t realize is that they are actively demonstrating to destroy an economic system that provides them with the only hope that they could ever climb out of their debt obligations and recoup better lives for themselves (trust-fund babies are exempted from this, of course, as they never do have to confront a material downside, so their talk is cheap).

    That students are angry, I understand. That their anger is so displaced, I attribute to the enormous success of universities in brainwashing their young, sweet minds full of mush. Several commentators have made reference to the large endowment funds held by so many universities. Instead of obediently and robotically hurling their vitriol against Wall Street (which had nothing to do with their predicament) and capitalism (wherein lies the solution to their predicament), these students should be suing their universities’ endowment funds to get their money back and asking themselves just how it was that they were so easily suckered by the Obama Administration with such empty pablum as “hope and change”.

  36. says

    What I don’t understand is why so few students and parents have caught onto what has happened.

    Slaves are slaves because shackles constrain them. The most powerful ones are the invisible shackles, where the slave is a slave because the slave fears freedom and choosing his own fate.

     They don’t catch on because they are afraid to face the truth of their existence. Fear has been a pretty successful motivator of human actions for our history.

  37. suek says

    >>It is especially unproductive when I first have to defend parts of my personhood (e.g., “I hope to god you’re not a teacher,” “spoiled brat,” “wasting time in college”, etc.).>>

    Why do you have to defend yourself? You’ve said that we’re not important enough for you to waste time trying to change our minds. That’s ok…do you think your impassioned defense will change our minds about your qualifications or characteristics?

    In other words, why is defending against our opinion of you as a person more important to you than defending your ideas?

  38. says

    Heh “person hood”.

     When the person is hollow, that’s when it’s full of all these mistaken ideas taken as replacement.

     In the old days, people had to prove their maturity by actually doing things, and not under the skirts of their professors. Since their professors also had to prove they had what it took.

  39. says

    The whole song and dance about Lawrence allowing individuals to do what they want would sound more convincing if Lawrence didn’t go interminably on about social justice and the “system”. Since it is the system they favor, why would they be in favor of individual initiative and choice? Obviously that’s a contradiction in metaphysics.

     When a bunch of people are looting communities across America, I suppose the definition of “social justice” can seem very relative to the peeps at Lawrence.

     

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