Saturday, July 28, 2007

Two Lessons In One

University of Michigan - LGBTA - What's in a Name?

So the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Affairs Office (hereafter referred to as The Freak Show) at the University of Michigan wants to change their name in order to be more representative, inclusive, etc. etc. etc. After reading through this thing, I'm still not positive what they want to change their name to. I also don't really care.

Here's the thing about all this. The alphabet soup (or whatever takes it's place) is distinctive of the Left's irrepressible need to Balkanize the world into interest groups. Every group has to be represented by a committee which will represent its supposedly distinct interests.

And here's the other thing about this... The process that this group is going to go through in order to change their name shows you the problem with Academia and, while we're at it, with government. It started two years ago and it will last until next Spring. It involves surveys and discussions and contact with peer institutions and feedback and stakeholders and forums and... You get the idea. Nobody can just make a decision to change the letterhead and buy a new sign.

I'm not a big believer in the University as a social institution. I would rather see it as a factory that takes in ignorant skulls full of mush and sends them on their way knowing how to do something that will enable them to earn a living. In my opinion, too much of what takes place on campuses is focused on activism and not nearly enough on education.

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