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Spoiled children have seized the colleges we pay for

OpinionSpoiled children have seized the colleges we pay for

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Starting at Columbia University and spreading across elite universities, pro-Hamas protesters have taken over their campuses, erecting tent cities and blocking the normal operations of their schools. Worse, they have targeted Jewish students with threats of violence, organized human chains to push “Zionists” out of public spaces and sent a Jewish student to the hospital after stabbing her in the eye with a Palestinian flag.  

These are not peaceful protesters exercising their First Amendment rights. These are spoiled and entitled kids cosplaying at being revolutionaries while expecting hard-working taxpayers to foot the bill. And they are being facilitated in this revolutionary fantasy by spoiled and entitled universities that are similarly awash in the cash they get from taxpayers.  

You may have thought that universities were places where students take classes, study and prepare for productive lives as responsible citizens, but that’s not what elite colleges currently look like. The average college student spends less than three hours per day either in class or studying.  

PRESSURE BUILDS FOR COLLEGES TO CLOSE OR SHUT DOWN ANTI-ISRAEL ENCAMPMENTS AMID DEATH THREATS TOWARD JEWS

When researchers administered standardized tests to college students at the start of college and again at the end of their second year, they found that “a significant proportion of students demonstrate no significant improvement in a range of skills including critical thinking, complex reasoning, and writing.”  

anti-Israel protest b Columbia

Protesters demonstrate near Columbia University on Feb. 2, 2024, in New York City. (Alexi J. Rosenfeld/Getty Images)

If most college students don’t study and barely learn, what are they doing with their time? A growing number of them are wrapping keffiyehs across their faces and calling for the destruction of Israel and America.  

These are the same people that the Biden administration believes are overburdened by having to repay loans they used to pay the tuition at the universities where they gather to chant genocidal slogans. Biden has proposed almost $1 trillion (with a T!) in “debt forgiveness” for student loans that will cost about $3,000 for every man, woman and child in this country.  

If students knew that they would have to repay the loans they took out to pay for their own college, rather than to shift that burden onto their hardworking fellow citizens, they might decide to devote their energies to studying and learning useful skills rather than attending rallies. When people are insulated from the consequences of their decisions by having other people cover the costs, they tend to be much more irresponsible in those decisions. 

The same is true for universities. They receive so much money from taxpayers that they are behaving irresponsibly in allowing their institutions to be taken over by a radical mob.

For example, Columbia University receives a taxpayer subsidy of almost $500 million every year for the overhead on federal research grants. That’s not the money they receive to conduct research. That’s the amount Columbia gets to pay for the buildings in which they conduct that research.  

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Never mind that Columbia already has more than $14 billion in endowment to pay for all the buildings they need. And all of this is on top of the money the school gets by over-charging for tuition, which is made possible by students being able to take out subsidized loans that taxpayers might have to “forgive.” 

The truth is that higher education – with all of its irresponsible behavior – is a house of cards built on taxpayer money. If the government were to cut the flow of that money by even a modest amount, higher education as it currently operates would collapse.  

But that is precisely what we need to have happen. Universities need to be reminded that they live off the hard-earned pay of the American people, and they had better serve public purposes well if they wish to continue receiving any of that money.  

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That public purpose is the transmission of skills and culture to future generations, so they can be productive and responsible citizens. It is not to pretend that they are revolutionaries, tearing down the sources of wealth that pay their bills.  

If some students have daddy-issues that they need to work out, they should do so with a therapist and at their own expense, rather than by destroying our system of higher education. 

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM JAY GREENE

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