I often hear complaints about the exorbitant cost of college and the lack of jobs that follow graduation. As a student that didn’t pursue a highly useful degree, I completely understand. My public relations diploma sits on a mantel collecting dust, while I use skills that I developed in school to get me through my work week. But the cost of college isn’t always about high teacher salaries and new buildings. A lot of times it has more to do with bias.
Enter the University of Michigan, not to be confused with Michigan State Univerity, former home to Larry Nassar. U of M has a little department on campus called their “bias response team” where offenses like speaking your mind could get you in hot water. I imagine their enforcement officers dress like the cop from The Village People and blow an imaginary whistle everytime they see bias, implicit or otherwise. I’m certainly not the first person to complain about college censorship, hell the show I did on college radio practically was about fighting the ways a bureaucracy could make you be quiet.
But fortunately for free speech, Donald Trump is President and universities are going to get a boot off of their high horse. Is it lonely up there on your pedestal? In a new lawsuit against the school, the DOJ says the “Bias Response Team has investigated more than 150 reports of bias by removing flyers and posters, erasing whiteboards and investigating students and professors for their remarks.” How authoritarian of them.
Now, you’re probably wondering what that has to do with the cost of college, student debt, and your inability to find a job. I can’t help you with the job thing, maybe humanities shouldn’t have been your major. But, I will tell you that every one of those ridiculous departments cost big money. With fun names like “the diversity center”, “bias response teams” and the directors, co-directors, assistant directors and so on that collect a big check off of your student debt, you can see why the cost of your “education” goes through the roof.
Look, I get that people who get degrees in gender studies need a place to go, and they’re not likely the same folks who start businesses and lead productive lives off of the government teat, but is it really worth raising the cost of school for kids who are actually trying to do something with their life?
Universities have turned into big government. There are departments, clubs, and groups that aren’t productive and are a pain in the rear to deal with. They think they have power over you when they don’t and cry foul when you challenge them on their validity to exist. So next time you or your student takes a look at their tuition bill, find the line item that has nothing to do with education, and everything to do with making people who wasted their own education feel validated.