A reader I know personally left this comment on the Good Colleges open thread. I know where he was educated, and can verify what he says. Emphases below are mine:
My undergraduate degrees are from an institution that could hold its own among any in the nation in terms of its student body’s liberal bona fides–it is a group of true-believing SJWs. A great deal of what is now making headlines was nascent, if not flourishing, on campus when I was there. My education in the liberal arts, Deo gratias, had a very very minimal amount of the elements described in the discussion of the medieval English lit prof, though I suspect my fellow students would have welcomed more gladly.
All of this is to make two points that I think are essential in discussing higher education:
1) All it takes is one good professor (all the better if you have a great professor) to inoculate students against the excesses discussed in this post. One professor. That’s it.
Obviously, it would be ideal to have many (or, dare we dream, an entire department) that is not SJW indoctrination. For my part, I could easily name 3 professors who definitely went against the SJW grain (on a very liberal campus, mind you), and their ability to push students of all worldviews to think critically and carefully was extraordinary. I think this is an important point because it shows you cannot judge an entire university tout court. I suspect even Mizzou and Yale have profs who are teaching kids the invaluable skills of critical thinking and reflection–they just go unsung because they’re busy doing their actual damn jobs. Now, this does not mean I would want to send my child to Mizzou or Yale, but we must remember that, even in the worst of circumstances, a mustard seed can still become the greatest of trees. This SJW ideology is an intellectual bubble that is as impermanent as an economic bubble: at some point, it will burst. It’s not if, but when. And one professor (or even one homework reading) can be enough to pop it if the student’s mind and soul are well-disposed to receive it.
2) I am highly grateful for my time in a SJW environment. I grew up in a relatively conservative subset of a very liberal city, and to have my beliefs challenged so forcefully made me, in my mind, far more solid in both intellect and faith than friends who went to more conservative colleges. I have seen the moderate Left, the far Left, the far far left, and the Left who think President Obama is a neocon, and I daresay I know as well as anyone what is coming in the next generation. We have to be ready, and my friends who went to have dwelt in more intellectually conservative or moderate environs have absolutely no appreciation of it. None. When there are students (far-left) actually arguing the moral permissibility of sexual relations between adults and pre-pubescent children, you know you have long since hit the diabolical. And I am very grateful I know it’s there.
I certainly am not advocating anyone with teenage children to just throw their kids in the SJW deep end and hope they swim. But at some point they are going to have to face this world on their own and make their own choices. Delaying that for some of them for a four-year period may very well be best for their souls–I presume that is a decision based made by the kids themselves in conjunction with their parents. But there are benefits to seeing such things firsthand. Ultimately, I suspect that many of the people who lead the pushback against this intellectual bubble will be disenchanted graduates of these SJW colleges. The Baylors of the world will have their part, but they are not in the trenches.
And, to repeat my earlier point, all it takes is one good prof in the midst of such foolishness to inoculate one against it forever.
Thank you, reader. That is very helpful — so much so I decided to give it its own post.