Even jaded people won’t believe why MIT didn’t suspend or expel threatening pro-Hamas students
I’ll admit it: I toyed with the idea of writing about how pro-Hamas students at MIT harassed Jewish students and barred them from entering classrooms but ultimately decided not to. Why not? Because, sadly, in today’s academic environment, it was a dog bites man story. In the almost six weeks since the October 7 massacre in Israel, we’ve been inundated by reports about wildly antisemitic activity in academia, so one more story didn’t seem to add much to the discussion about the fetid moral rot in America’s institutions of higher learning. However, now that I’ve learned why MIT did not discipline those same dangerous students, I’m sufficiently shocked to share the news with you.
Just to set the stage, MIT is one of America’s most reputable institutions. Indeed, even as leftism swept one campus after another, especially in the Ivy Leagues, people thought, “Well, MIT is a STEM school. Surely those brilliant geeks won’t fall prey to woke madness.” But a little bit here and a little bit there…stories started leaking out. (E.g., climate madness, gender madness, and cancel culture.) Antisemitism was in the mix, and I say this because I knew a family that was deeply damaged by an antisemitic attack. But still, it wasn’t as bad as Harvard, Yale, or other schools.
Still, MIT is an American university, so it’s going to be leftist, and leftists support nasty ideas. That’s why I didn’t report on this story, which seemed too sadly common:
This is the reality that MIT President wants to hide. A letter from Israeli & Jewish MIT students:— Retsef Levi (@RetsefL) November 10, 2023
To all students at MIT,
Today, Jewish and Israeli MIT students were physically prevented from attending class by a hostile group of pro-Hamas and anti-Israel MIT students that…
Even after the above tweet went viral and the story started spreading beyond MIT’s walls, and a few social media messages, MIT’s administration did nothing: It didn’t put out the usual meaningless statement praising free speech (something academia praises only when anti-leftist messages offend people) nor did it promise to crack down on the malfeasors.
Today, we learned why: The students behind this violent activity aren’t American, so disciplining them might lead to them being deported. (Fat chance, I say, under the Biden administration.)
Institute President Sally Kornbluth acknowledged the elite university’s position in a statement in response to a protest that posed a threat to Jewish and Israeli students.
The statement issued by Kornbluth - who has served as president of the university since January - said after the confrontation between protestors erupted ‘we had serious concerns that it could lead to violence.’
‘After exhausting all other avenues for de-escalating the situation, we informed all protesters that they must leave the lobby area within a set time, or they would be subject to suspension,’ she continued.
‘Many chose to leave, and I appreciate their cooperation. Some did not. Members of my team have been in dialogue with students all day.
‘Because we later heard serious concerns about collateral consequences for the students, such as visa issues, we have decided, as an interim action, that the students who remained after the deadline will be suspended from non-academic campus activities. The students will remain enrolled at MIT and will be able to attend academic classes and labs.’ (Emphasis added.)
With this milquetoast response, Kornbluth revealed something important about academia: It’s not only getting massive amounts of money from overseas, it’s also getting a lot of tuition money from overseas students. Here’s MIT’s data:
There are 3,465 international students enrolled in degree programs at MIT—513 undergraduates (11%) and 2,952 graduate students (42%)—in 2022–2023. Additionally, 643 exchange, visiting, and special students participated in MIT programs. (Emphasis mine.)
The situation is even worse at state colleges and universities. Those institutions have to extend discounted tuition to in-state students. Out-of-state students often get grants or waivers. But overseas students pay full fare.
Despite all the taxpayer money pouring into academia, it takes a lot of cash to pay for all those administrators, whose numbers have burgeoned by 60% just between 1993 and 2009. I recall reading somewhere that, between the mid-1970s and around 2015, the overall growth of administrative positions was over 300%, even as the number of professors remained unchanged—although don’t quote me on that because I can’t find that citation.
Academia is corrupt. It just is. It’s especially corrupt in the liberal arts, but once the rot sets in at any institution, it spreads.
These people are ideological prostitutes, of course, but there’s more. Like all good leftists, who are, by definition, obsessed with money (it and the state are their gods), they are greedy and will do anything, licit or illicit, moral or immoral, to obtain it. That’s why MIT, once a respected science institution, is now a degenerate place that protects violent foreigners (who are here as a privilege, not a right), regardless of justice or safety.