Seattle Times warns of Evergreen State’s future–and more updates on the situation

I hadn’t realized that The Evergreen State College (ESC)  is “the only state four-year higher education institution to see enrollment drop steeply since 2011 despite wide-open admission standards.” (They accept about 98% of applicants, I believe). The statement in quotes comes from yesterday’s editorial in the Seattle Times, “The Evergreen State College: No safety, no learning, no future.”  The Times now joins many venues, including the New York Times and The Washington Post (see below) in publicizing and decrying what happened when Regressive Leftist inmates start running the asylum at Evergreen.

If Evergreen State’s enrollment has dropped steeply in the last 6 years, well, that’s nothing compared with what is to come. Students throwing rocks through windows, threats phoned in to shoot a lot of people, student “vigilantes” roaming the campus with baseball bats—what parent would want to send their kid to such a school, even if they did accept the po-mo and often ridiculous classes the students have to take? (Evolutionary biology seems to be a welcome exception.)

The fracas at ESC may not be, as I predicted, a turning point in the Left’s coddling of its regressive element, or of authoritarian students dominating the discourse on campuses, but it surely presages hard times for ESC—and that’s deserved. The trustees and President should apologize to Bret Weinstein and Heather Heying, his wife who also teaches biology (and was also called a “racist”), and they should discipline the students who disrupted classes and carried baseball bats, fire the invertebrate President George Bridges, and get rid of its fluffy po-mo courses. I suspect that none of this will happen, but, as the Seattle Times editorial notes, if something isn’t done, the College is doomed:

Evergreen President George Bridges and his administration need to assure future students and their parents that academics come first — and not acquiesce to the 200-or-so student protesters at the expense of the 4,000-student campus. Without safety, there’s no learning, and without learning, Evergreen will wither into irrelevance.

. . . The situation at Evergreen is an amplified version of a story playing out at campuses across the state, including recently at Western Washington University, Seattle University and the University of Washington — and across the nation.

Since the corrosive 2016 presidential election, Americans increasingly comprise a nation with citizens sealed in ideological bubbles; college campuses are often the most hermetically sealed of bubbles. When Weinstein, the professor, asked a yelling mob of students if they wanted to hear his answer, they shouted “No!”

For Evergreen, the chaos of the 2016-17 school year should become a case study in the First Amendment and the aching need for better civil discourse. The funky, nontraditional college has a unique role in the state higher-education system. But for it to survive, Evergreen must impose consequences when a student protest hijacks other students’ learning.

Nobody has taken me up on my $50 bet that not a single student at ESC will be disciplined over what has happened in the last two weeks.

*******

The Washington Post has finally confirmed the rumors I’d heard about ESC; that bands of people (and I’m pretty sure they were students) were walking around campus with baseball bats  over the weekend:

Thurston County Sheriff John Snaza said school officials were responding to the threat from last week as well as an incident Sunday night. “They have had people walking around with sticks and baseball bats late at night causing property damage,” including graffiti and broken windows, he said Monday. “They asked us to come out and assist.”

He said campus police told him there was about $10,000 worth of property damage.

The Evergreen State College Police Department referred questions to a college spokesman, Zach Powers, who did not immediately have answers to questions about the property damage. [JAC: I suspect Powers is the Sean Spicer of Evergreen.]

This photo, from Instagram—provided by someone associated by ESC—purports to show ESC students wielding bats; I have no idea whether they were actually the vigilante mob or not. See here for a tw**t that gives another photo of this group and makes the claim that these are ESC students. They might just be posing theatrically. 

And a bit more from WaPo:

Student protest leaders did not respond to requests for comment.

An opinion piece in the student newspaper, the Cooper Point Journal, included these points: “Police are commissioned to maintain order, the current order of the world, and thus always inherently work in favor of the status quo. Police are peace keepers, but the kind of peace they keep is not peace as an end to structural violence, but a peace based in non disruption of the status quo. If you are a member of a group that the status quo does not favor, if you are among other things not white, not wealthy, not straight, or not cisgender, then the cops do not and can not work in your favor.

” … If the status quo at the Evergreen State College is institutional racism, and the police are here [to] protect the institution that shelters that form of institutional violence, they are a white supremacist threat.”

Snaza said he was concerned about the situation on campus. When 200 to 300 protesters confronted the president and other administrators last month, he said the people who were targeted did not feel they could leave. “When you barricade doors and windows so the staff can’t leave,” he said, “that’s not usually a good sign.”

77 Comments

  1. Posted June 6, 2017 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    I think you meant Sean Spicer

    Hope the finger continues to improve 😉

    That photo is real. It was posted on a Reddit site discussing the situation; one of the snowflakes involved actually thought it was a good idea to start an AMA about the situation and this was included. It did not go well for the student.

    • Posted June 6, 2017 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

      Oy, I thought I wrote Spicer.
      What happened to the student?

    • Zach
      Posted June 6, 2017 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

      …one of the snowflakes involved actually thought it was a good idea to start an AMA about the situation and this was included.

      I try my best to understand the way other people think. Up ’til now, I thought I had a decent grasp on this whole pomo-SJW phenomenon.

      But the mind of someone who would triumphantly post that picture to Reddit is utterly beyond me. I am floating in a surreal haze, questioning all reality.

      By the way, I think that’s also my new favorite-picture-ever. Its layers of absurdity are sublime beyond description.

      • BJ
        Posted June 6, 2017 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

        Most of the videos of the protesters have been posted by the protesters themselves. They think they’re heroes, and that they seem as such to others.

        • Desnes Diev
          Posted June 6, 2017 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

          Heroes or anti-heroes?
          On the picture, they seem to be influenced by “Suicide squad” or similar “coolness over intelligence” (bad) movies.

          • Travis
            Posted June 7, 2017 at 12:04 am | Permalink

            It’s a lot of SJW stereotypes rolled into one. I first saw it posted on r/cringeanarchy

      • Craw
        Posted June 6, 2017 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

        Don’t just stand there, let’s get to it
        Strike a pose there’s nothing to it

        Vogue

        Thug-chic. Unlike Zach this is *exactly* the sort of thing I expect to see. It’s preening as the hip, ironic, faux-rebel hero — with an atavistic frisson.

        They had style,
        they had grace
        A baseball bat
        breaks good face

      • KiwiInOz
        Posted June 6, 2017 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

        There can be only one Harley Quinn. [/highlander]

  2. Posted June 6, 2017 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    There is an appropriate ESC key on my keyboard.

    • ploubere
      Posted June 6, 2017 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

      Ha! It stands for Easy State College.

  3. jsoon71
    Posted June 6, 2017 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    Check out the youtube video “Evergreen Limp Bizkit Incident, Pt 2” included in the heatst.com article linked to below. At around the 1:34 mark, it shows a group of individuals who were apparently just following and harassing an ESC student who is being referred to as “Chalkman” and his friends. One of them can be seen wielding a baseball bat, and several of them can be clearly identified in the Instagram picture shown above. This would seem to support the claim that these were the harassing students and that they were walking around with baseball bats. It’s not clear if they were also responsible for the property damage referred to above.

    https://heatst.com/culture-wars/rise-of-chalkman-one-evergreen-state-college-student-refuses-to-cave-to-the-mob/

  4. ploubere
    Posted June 6, 2017 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    Doubtful that anyone in the real world is impressed by a degree from Evergreen, and that reputation will certainly diminish after this.

    • Craw
      Posted June 6, 2017 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

      It would make an impression on me. Were I doing the hiring around here, an Evergreen degree would be dispositive.

  5. Posted June 6, 2017 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    sub

  6. Jim Smith
    Posted June 6, 2017 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    The important part from the seattle times article:

    “But Evergreen faces a deeper, and more long-term threat. It is the only state four-year higher education institution to see enrollment drop steeply since 2011 despite wide-open admission standards. At about 4,080 students, it is about 300 students short of the Legislature’s funded enrollment target.”

    I think they will meet that 300 drop in enrollment. And do it easily. I wouldn’t send a dog to a dog training facility with this college’s joke standards.

    • eric
      Posted June 6, 2017 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

      Yes. While I agree with JAC that there is no telling whether this is a turning point or not, the enrollment figures do seem to imply that (a) the market is not as left-leaning as these reported events might lead us to believe, and (b) Presidents who think ‘the customer is always right’ is an effective means of keeping up revenue are in for a big surprise.

      • Diane G.
        Posted June 6, 2017 at 11:39 pm | Permalink

        Remember that somewhere above the President there must be a Board pulling his strings…

    • Posted June 7, 2017 at 11:22 am | Permalink

      The way that quotation is written, it sounds like the enrollment target is actually about 300 MORE than 4,080, not 300 LESS. That is, they’re likely to get further away from their target if and when their enrollments drop like what happened at Mizzou following their incident with Melissa Click et al.

  7. Dave137
    Posted June 6, 2017 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    These so-called protestors are starving for meaning in their lives.

  8. Martin Levin
    Posted June 6, 2017 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    98% admission rate? Res ipsa loquitor.

    • Travis
      Posted June 7, 2017 at 12:05 am | Permalink

      Similar to naturopathic colleges iirc

  9. GBJames
    Posted June 6, 2017 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    I mentioned this subject to a friend of ours who had toured Evergreen four+ years ago when his youngest son was deciding where to go to college. He told me that they had decided against the place because it was too unstructured. He also was released that his son, graduating this Saturday from Western Washington University, would have had a sad end to his college career had they chosen differently.

    • Posted June 6, 2017 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

      “He also was released that his son, graduating this Saturday”

      I assume you meant he was relieved … 🙂

      • GBJames
        Posted June 6, 2017 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

        LOL. I blame auto-correct!

  10. Nobody
    Posted June 6, 2017 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    As a life-long liberal and atheist who got called a “pinko” in the 90s for physically defending a gay kid against bullies, I just want to say this: Fuck these SJW/feminist/millennial/identitarian fascists. Fuck them for making the left look like a bunch of goose-stepping, authoritarian, censorious, illiberal assholes.

    • Posted June 6, 2017 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

      Right on. With you.

    • Craw
      Posted June 6, 2017 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

      Speaking as a non-Leftie, I agree 100% There is a decent responsible Left and it has to combat this kind of thing (as Coyne is doing in fact).

    • Diane G.
      Posted June 6, 2017 at 11:41 pm | Permalink

      +3

  11. Randy schenck
    Posted June 6, 2017 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    All they need to do now is change the sign up front to read Reform school and it will all make sense.

  12. Denise
    Posted June 6, 2017 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    The students seem to be claiming that the campus is rife with institutional racism. Does anyone one know what their specific complaints are?

    • Posted June 6, 2017 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

      Not from personal knowledge. But in principle if the humanities program has an emphasis on Western arts and history, then that will be more than sufficient for the charge of institutional racism. Oh, and one would expect that the cafeteria food is mostly American. And I bet the buildings are mostly named after white people.

      • Merilee
        Posted June 6, 2017 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

        Yeah, but if the food were anything but American that would be appropriating, doncha know.

        • Genghis
          Posted June 7, 2017 at 5:03 am | Permalink

          You just can’t win.

    • fizziks
      Posted June 6, 2017 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

      If you wade through some of the long podcast interviews with Weinstein, he mentions things like it is now the position of the faculty union, and maybe the position of the school codified somewhere in some document, that defending yourself against allegations of racism, no matter the circumstances, is now considered to be racist. Also the students clearly thought that a professor insisting on holding class rather than being forced off campus for being white was also racist. With the word defined in those ways, then yes, there is going to be “racism” on the campus.

      • BJ
        Posted June 6, 2017 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

        Right, as long as we keep redefining words like racism, violence, abuse, etc., there will always be problems to combat. It’s a foolproof plan!

        • Harrison
          Posted June 6, 2017 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

          The end result of running on the euphemism treadmill is that we will have no words left to describe truly vile people. When even anti-racist liberals are called “racist white supremacist Nazi klansmen” what could you call a genuine racist that’s any worse?

          • BJ
            Posted June 6, 2017 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

            That, and it has also completely defanged these terms over time, so every time I hear someone on the left use them, I become immediately suspicious.

          • steve
            Posted June 7, 2017 at 4:25 am | Permalink

            Donald Trump? (arc)

            • steve
              Posted June 7, 2017 at 4:25 am | Permalink

              sarc

      • Posted June 7, 2017 at 8:36 am | Permalink

        “If you wade through some of the long podcast interviews with Weinstein, he mentions things like it is now the position of the faculty union, and maybe the position of the school codified somewhere in some document, that defending yourself against allegations of racism, no matter the circumstances, is now considered to be racist.”

        So pretty much exactly like the old RCC inquisitions were refusal to admit your impiety was itself evidence of impiety.

        Once you untether concepts like “racism” and “sexism” from objective facts, this is what happens.

    • Posted June 6, 2017 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

      The students seem to be claiming that the campus is rife with institutional racism. Does anyone one know what their specific complaints are?</blockquote

      Weinstein assigned homework that wasn't journaling.

      • Doug
        Posted June 6, 2017 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

        Something I haven’t seen anyone mention: if the campus is so racist, why would any BLACK people want to go there? Surely, there are colleges in this country where Black students don’t need to carry baseball bats in order to feel safe.

        Do the faculty members who are defending the students not realize that they are admitting that they work for a racist institution? Doesn’t this make them complicit in the racism? Of course, I imagine that they think “I’m okay; it’s all the other profs who are racist.”

  13. Ken Kukec
    Posted June 6, 2017 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    [JAC: I suspect Powers is the Sean Spicer of Evergreen.]

    Ouch, Jerry, really lettin’ the snark flag fly with that comparison. (Though even I have to admit I felt a little bad for Spiceman when the Donald went all mean-girl and refused to take him into the Vatican to meet Frankie the First.)

    PS – That isn’t a photo of ESC students; that’s a still from the Cantina scene in Star Wars. 🙂

  14. Jeff Rankin
    Posted June 6, 2017 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    ESC(ape) is right. Rational students: escape with your sanity while you still can!

  15. Jim Smith
    Posted June 6, 2017 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    Good thing that guy on the left swings like a girl.

    • Genghis
      Posted June 7, 2017 at 5:05 am | Permalink

      You’re doomed, mate.

  16. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted June 6, 2017 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    In a sane world, the police are not there to protect the status quo.
    They are to ensure that progress to a better way occurs without interruption or disruption.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted June 6, 2017 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

      If you’re lookin’ to get silly
      You better go back to from where you came
      Because the cops don’t need you
      And, man, they expect the same

      B. Dylan, “Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues” (L. Ronstadt cover)

      • merilee
        Posted June 6, 2017 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

        Great Ronstadt cover. Love Townes Van Zandt, too. Need to get some of his disks out…

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted June 6, 2017 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

          I love Townes Van Zandt’s cover of the Stone’s “Dead Flowers” — the one T-Bone Burnett used over the closing credits of the Coen Brothers’ The Big Lebowski.

          Hell, I just love Townes Van Zandt, period.

          • Merilee
            Posted June 6, 2017 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

            Me, too. He’s no longer “with us”, is he?

            • Ken Kukec
              Posted June 6, 2017 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

              Nah, poor Townes quit drinking for good (as my Irish relations put it) back in ’97.

  17. Craw
    Posted June 6, 2017 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    About that bet. You will need to offer long, long odds.

  18. fizziks
    Posted June 6, 2017 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    I read the Washington Post article and I have to say that in my reading it was a bit short on the decrying and a bit long on the equivocation. It made it seem like overall the main cause of the chaos was the one-time phoned-in threat, rather than the student mob running amok for days.

  19. fizzy
    Posted June 6, 2017 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

    If I was looking at hiring someone and saw they went to this college during this period of time they wouldn’t get past the application stage.

  20. Henry Fitzgerald
    Posted June 6, 2017 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

    It would be nice to think these students simply like baseball, but I suspect that’s not it.

  21. Posted June 6, 2017 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

    “Evergreen President George Bridges and his administration need to assure future students and their parents that academics come first — and not acquiesce to the 200-or-so student protesters at the expense of the 4,000-student campus.” So to be clear: the 1% enforcing their values = not okay. The 5% though, that’s different. In all seriousness, there’s a certain spinelessness that academic administrators have shown to these kinds of challenges, not just at ESC, and I wonder if it’s the kinds of people in these positions, or there are structural problems that disincentivize them or tie their hands.

  22. KD
    Posted June 6, 2017 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

    The problem is that while there is a very sensible, reasonable Left capable of rational discussion, guess which Left is running higher education, from Yale on down (with a few exceptions like Chicago)?

  23. Torbjörn Larsson
    Posted June 6, 2017 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

    “If you are a member of a group that the status quo does not favor, if you are among other things not white, not wealthy, not straight, or not cisgender, then the cops do not and can not work in your favor.”

    When peaceful, democratic reforms are excluded, I read an communist/anarchist “revolution” analogy. Indeed, bats at large seems like the latter.

  24. eric
    Posted June 6, 2017 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

    “Police are commissioned to maintain order, the current order of the world, and thus always inherently work in favor of the status quo…”

    That an important and effective point if you’re in the situation of MLK and his compatriots in the 1960s. But coming from fairly privileged college students whacking other people’s property with baseball bats, not so much.

  25. Posted June 6, 2017 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

    Il n’y a pas de casquette rouge, but they certainly were ready to build a scaffold.

    • Genghis
      Posted June 7, 2017 at 5:10 am | Permalink

      I agree that this is redolent of la Terreur but I think a closer analogy is Mao’s Cultural Revolution.

  26. barn owl
    Posted June 6, 2017 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

    2017 Day of Absence “Off Campus” schedule of seminars and activities:

    https://evergreen.edu/sites/default/files/2017DoA_OffCampus_Schedule.pdf

    There are 3 pages, but only the first has any content.

  27. Kenthalas
    Posted June 6, 2017 at 11:53 pm | Permalink

    The kid on the left with the pink hair on top is visible in several of the earliest videos. This is definitely them.

  28. Posted June 7, 2017 at 3:56 am | Permalink

    Have anyone noticed the preponderance of female SJWs in most universities recent kerfuffles? Is this a poor assessment, a coincidence?

    I remember been told over and over again that the world would be a much better place if women would be the ones in charge. Watching the images from the ESC episode and others it seems that a world ruled by women would be at least as bad as the one ruled by men.

    • Genghis
      Posted June 7, 2017 at 5:20 am | Permalink

      In some of the FB groups with SJW leanings that I used to frequent it was usually the female moderators that had a hairtrigger on the banhammer. Yet most of the women I know are more caring and compassionate. I guess it’s the ones who desire a position of power that become uber-men.

  29. Michael
    Posted June 7, 2017 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    The tactics of these thugs are reminiscent of those of the Red Guard during the Cultural Revolution in China.

  30. Diane
    Posted June 7, 2017 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    Have any of you actually met or spent time with an Evergreen student? How many of you have been on the campus?

    Olympia has a population that is predominately white with results in a student body that is predominately white. Think about it.


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