David Hogg Goes to College
David Hogg, supposed victim of the Parkland shooting and anti-gun activist, got the letter 42,749 applicants hope to receive from Harvard: an acceptance letter. In 2018, Harvard accepted only 4.59 percent of applicants, roughly 1,900 persons. Once Hogg’s tweet that announced the good news went viral, eyebrows across the United States were raised in befuddlement.
Hogg’s highest SAT score is 1270, and the average SAT score for admissions into Harvard is roughly 1480.* Americans who ascribe to the ideology of meritocracy rightfully struggle with the idea that Hogg is able to meet Harvard requirements with a score approximately 200 points below the average acceptance score. Furthermore, Hogg already received rejection letters to several universities in California, but the premier Ivy League school of America found a place for the anti-Second Amendment activist.
According to a report by Reuters, Harvard is already embroiled in a racial-profiling case of Asian-American applicants. In essence, Harvard chose Caucasian males over Asian males based not on the merits of academic performance but instead on personality. The fact that a university discriminates against minorities, especially in an anti-progressive ethos, is baffling. Such acts raise the question as to what agendas do universities in America like Harvard have by discriminating against minorities who have meritoriously earned their place at a school?
Furthermore, outlets such as the LA Times and the Washington Post admit universities teem with progressive professors in comparison to a minority of conservative professors. Depending on which study you peruse, progressive professors outnumber conservative professors 12 to 1. Likely, the majority of public institutions have very few conservative professors with the majority of conservative professors located at private religious institutions across the United States.
However, many professors wait in silence of their views, hoping for tenure at their state school. Once they achieve tenure, then these professors are able to exercise more of their First Amendment rights without fear of retribution by their institution. The University of North Carolina -- Wilmington is an infamous case in which leadership denied the tenure of and fired Dr. Mike Adams because he no longer shared the views of progressivism and atheism at UNCW. Adams won the case based on the university’s suppression of his First Amendment rights.
Nevertheless, Adams’ case represents the culmination of shifted imperatives of universities from a marketplace of ideas to an indoctrination of ideas. Progressivism has achieved its ideological goal via higher education by progressively alienating the marketplace of ideas from the hallowed halls of learning. Institutions founded upon Christian or Western values slowly, but successfully, experienced the divorce from said values for the progressive. Recently, Campus Reform reported that Oklahoma University slates a new class that combines feminist theory and the movies of James Bond. Those who take the course hope to learn theory behind the obvious misogyny of the Bond films. The likelihood a class like this will benefit a student in a practical way is limited. The person who will benefit, and benefit financially, is the professor who wrote all the textbooks that are required reading for the course.
As John Stonestreet so aptly says, “Ideas have consequences. And bad ideas have victims.” Don’t let your future student be a victim of progressive America’s universities. Here are some practical ways for your student to not become a victim of the bad ideas found at universities.
First, ask your student what major he or she intends to pursue. Business, psychology, and the hard sciences are great places to pursue a meaningful major. If your student is interested in a Social Justice major, then you need to have a different talk with your student. Degrees like Social Justice or Gender Studies have little to no market value. Completing such a degree may only be useful if one’s student intends to pursue a master’s degree in counseling or go to law school. In the 1990s, gender studies adherents debated on whether or not to dispense with objective data in order to further the field. From the way gender theory is approached today, it appears the empiricists lost. Such majors are not the types of degrees your student needs to pursue.
Second, click over to FIRE’s (Foundation for Indivdual Rights in Education) link to find out how the institution your student wants to attend rates on free speech. If the university rates low on the allowance of free speech, this is a good indicator the university is more about ideological indoctrination as opposed to the free market of ideas.
Third, evaluate the clubs on campus to see where your student can best fit. Ask to see a list of clubs so you can determine if there are solid campus ministry opportunities, conservative movement groups like Turning Point USA, or even critical thinking groups like Ratio Cristi. If groups like these are not present, the lack may indicate how the university supports free speech. This is an often overlooked area.
Fourth, and this is the most difficult, see if you can find info on what speakers have been allowed or prohibited from visiting campus. Remember, a university should be a marketplace of ideas, so progressive and conservative speakers should be allowed on campus if a campus group sponsors such a speaker. A spectrum of speakers should be allowed to speak, from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to Dave Rubin to Lila Rose to Charlie Kirk. These voices should not be silenced. Let the marketplace of ideas determine whether students want to hear their ideas or not.
As you help your student navigate the difficult world of college admissions, the above points should aid you and your student to find a university that will help your student learn, grow, and mature -- not simply pursue a progressive agenda of indoctrination. Your student should be able to attend a university with the sole imperative to be a free market of ideas, based on meritorious performance. These steps take a little work yet are well worth the effort.
* 1540 is the average of the 25th and 75th percentile of those admitted