The Truth is Powerful
The Administrator’s Dilemma
Ready to be provoked, infuriated, or exasperated, depending on your vantage point? Just read an article entitled “ Stanford’s War on Social Life ,” a sardonic, scornful exposé of the ways that the Farm’s administrators succeeded in curtailing that institution’s raucous campus culture.
Or as New York Times columnist Ross Douthat describes it in a tweet: “Striking piece about how Dean Wormer finally defeated the Delta guys.”
The author, Genevra Davis, who studied Symbolic Systems at Stanford, served as business manage of the Stanford Review , and now writes on technology and youth culture, offers a rather gleeful take down of administrative overreach which has eliminated the free-for-all culture that was Stanford’s secret sauce in the name of safety and inclusion.
Scraping names off buildings and replacing them with letters and numbers, eliminating many cultural theme houses, abolishing much of Greek life, and, God forbid, draining Lake Lagunita, not only neutered the campus’ social life, but undercut Stanford’s motto – “Die Luft der Freiheit weht,”“the winds of freedom blow.”
The effect: To leave many students lonely, frustrated, and isolated on an increasingly atomized campus.
As the author observes, it’s not an accident that the pivotal leader in this effort to rein in the campus’ […]