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Radical U: Antioch By: James Alan Winter
FrontPageMagazine.com | Monday, May 19, 2003


If you're looking for a  private liberal arts college to send your post-adolescent child,  your family is wealthy, its politics falls within the loopy Left, and the to-be-matriculated is completely unsuitable for work in the real world, consider Antioch University in Yellow Springs, Ohio. Here the prospective student will not find lukewarm P.C. speech codes or subtle political propaganda embedded within traditional courses; at Antioch off-the-wall leftist social mores are enshrined in the campus rule book, "social activism" is mandatory and the graduation speaker may just be Mumia Abu-Jamal.

Founded by the educational reformer Horace Mann in 1852, it was the nation’s first college to give out the same college degrees to men and women.  Quoting him, the college’s motto is, “Let us not be content to wait and see what will happen, but give us the determination to make the right things happen.”  Antioch’s home page asks: Do you want to be yourself?  Do you want your voice to be heard?  Do you want to change the world? Antioch College understands.  The mission statement lays bare Antioch's raison d'etre: to “challenge (the students’) values and perspectives… and as a result change their perspective… to empower others.”  The Antioch honor code is “dedicated…to the pursuit of social justice,” a left-wing code word for Marxist agitation.  And Antioch lives up to its rhetoric.

"Black Power" on the Lily White Campus

Anticoh fell off the rails in the late 1960s, symbolized by civil rights pioneer Bayard Rustin’s resignation from the Board of Trustees to protest the establishment of a Blacks-only segregated dorm.  This was no administration-instituted segregation; the administration acquiescenced to student demands for a "Black Power" dorm. 

By the Millenium year of 2000, Antioch had invited Mumia Abu-Jamal, a former Black Panther sitting on Pennsylvania’s death row for murdering Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner, to address the commencement.  

A few (if all too few) Antiochians deplored this choice; the Fraternal Order of Police were more unified and demonstrative.  They bussed Philadelphia police along with Maureen Faulkner, the widow of the murdered police officer, 600 miles to Antioch, where they were joined by police officers from southwest Ohio.  The authorities cordoned the protesting police.  The CINCINNATI ENQUIRER noted that “several masked anti-police demonstrators were escorted away from the assembly” of hundreds of police officers and supporters. By way of contrast, when Mr. Abu-Jamal began to edify the faithful among Antioch's student body and faculty, the law enforcement protestors peacefully filed out en masse.

A concern with "Black Power" could be a diversion from the fact that so few blacks would have been present in the audience.  Despite its leftist shilling for "diversity," there's precious little to be found at Antioch University: The school’s president is a woman, as is more than half the faculty, and three-fifths of the student body.  Non-Hispanic Whites make up 79 percent of students.

Nor is there much in the way of academic achievement to be found on campus.  Although standardized test results are no longer required for admission, those who volunteer the information report an unimpressive 1075 for the SAT and 25 for the ACT.  Nevertheless, 80 percent of applicants are dutifully admitted.  No worry; professors "evaluate" their students, rather than grade them. (How non-judgmental!) Tuition, which exceeds $21,000 a year, does not reflect its inferior product. (Total estimated living cost approaches a hefty $29,000 a year, although most students receive financial aid.)  Perhaps this explains why Antioch enrolls just over 600 full-time students, a 70 percent decline in the last generation.

Tomorrow's fifth column leaders

Joan Straumanis, President of Antioch College, notes that Antioch students “are activists… Students think about the problems of the world and their responsibility to address them.”  An example was the notorious heckling of then Secretary of State Madeleine Albright in Columbus, Ohio, where she appeared at Ohio State University to defend the Clinton’s intervention to end the ethnic cleansing in the Balkans.

With five branches nationwide, two in Yellow Springs, Anticoh’s “uniqueness” is the Co-op Program that alternates work experience with studies.  According to Tom Haughsby, Director of the Co-op Program, “70 percent of students work internationally… Typically, with indigenous organizations, NGO’s, and, in Brazil, civic government and schools.”  Today there are 200 job openings through the program, none through the Department of Defense or any law enforcement agencies or major corporations.  “There is nothing to preclude” the Department of Defense or any other organization from working within the Co-op Program, but “the atmosphere is not conducive” for it.

A query as to whether the college hosted an ROTC program evoked an incredulous laugh. Mr. Haughsby confided that there is a sole student working with a contractor to the Department of Defense.  “Conservatives are a rare commodity” and would find themselves “relatively isolated” on campus, he assured me.

Perusing the 44 Co-op openings from A-D, only one was in private enterprise - you know, the real world.  The sponsor, apparently, could not bring himself to utter the “c” word: company.  Rather it is for an “organization involved in internet commerce.”  All the rest were for the college, environmental groups, and NGOs.  The American Friends Service Committee, a “Quaker non-profit peace, social justice, and humanitarian organization,” soliciting for a “Mid-East Peace Education Assistant.”  Asian American Renaissance from Minnesota seeking a coordinator to serve the Pan-Asian arts community in St. Paul.  A teaching assistant is wanted at the Buen Dia School, a “multicultural alternative” for Spanish and Asian children in San Francisco (TB test required).  Casa Marianella in Austin, Texas, “shelters Central American refugees," presumably including numerous illegals.  If commiting to one NGO is too limiting, there is the Center for Campus Organizing that “promotes campus activism” for numerous groups.  Or one can get involved firsthand in far-left political campaigns at Democracy South in Chapel Hill, NC, which needs a researcher to “learn strategic research techniques to uncover campaign contributions and their link to grassroots groups’ concerns… (and) Expose the influence of big money on the political process and policy making.”

Indoctrination 101

The curriculum, “Interdisciplinary Majors and Concentrations” in Antiochese, offers eight fields, one of which is in science, and 27 majors, four in the hard sciences.  The most popular, with 27 percent of students, is Self, Society, and Culture, which “provide(s) a framework for understanding behavior, culture, social structure, and change at the individual, local, and global levels.”  Courses offered at the institution, hard to decipher by most academic standards, read more like the departments of a local socialist bookstore: Queer Studies, Race and Ethnicity, Social Stratification, Gender and the Politics of International Development, Urban Ethnography, Global Feminism, and Ethnopsychiatry. 

Competing for most studied discipline is the Cultural and Interdisciplinary Studies program.  In Africana, Peace, and Women’s Studies “students will become familiar with critical theories of power, oppression, and change… from (a) multicultural perspective… rethinking, and re-examining traditional Eurocentric/Western thought… Students are expected to participate… (in the) women’s  center, Third World Alliance, Undoing Racism, and Food not Bombs.”  Courses include Ideology and Form in Black Radical Thought, African Philosophy, An Introduction to Media and Social Change, The Feminist Press, Gender and Moving Image, Ecology and Feminism, Indigenous Ecology, The United Nations System, and Nonviolence: History, Theory, Action, Women’s Peace, and World Community, Lives of Commitment in a Complex World. Women’s studies courses include Feminist Theories, The Post-Colonial Text, Queer British Fiction, and Ecology and Feminism. 
 
Teaching this psychobabble is a faculty peppered with such professors as Anne Bohlen, a documentary filmmaker and collaborator with Michael Moore.  Also peddling their knowledge and expertise are Denise Eagleson, whose photography exhibit “Cuba: Siempre Viva” is now on tour; Ann Filemyr, a veteran of the Earth Summit of Rio and the Kyoto forum Green Cross Conference; Robert Fogerty, contributor to Nation magazine;  Goeffrey Giddings, a specialist in “Afrocentric theory”; Navin Mercede is a “former gypsy artist/educator.”  Noted Missle Defense activist Patrice Mische, a collaborator with UNESCO and a visiting fellow at the Kroc Institute for Peace, teaches Peace Studies.  Scott Warren is a “political theoriss…in critical theory, neo-marxism, and radicalism.”  Christine Olivo is a German Green party activist and eco-feminist theoretician, and Marianne Eholched specializes in the works of ultra-feminist "poet" and "artist" Adrienne Rich.      

Approved student groups include BAMN (By Any Means Necessary) exist to “serve and unify the racially oppressed community members of Antioch… who identify themselves and/or their people as victims of racism…” and “not identifying with and/or receiving the privileges of the oppressed/dominant group (Whites).”  Welcomed are “Asians, Latinos, Native Americans, Indigenous Peoples, Pacific Islanders, Peoples of the African Diaspora, Peoples of the Mid-East, and Bi/Multiracials.”  No whites need apply.  The campus Alternative Library “acts a resource for radical and progressive thinking," offering propaganda designed “to address…racism, sexism, classism, and homophobia.”  The cafeteria guarantees vegetarian plates at every meal. Any “self-defined lesbians, gay men, bisexual or transgendered people” can congregate in the “Queer Center” whose “primary focus is the queer community.” 

Leftist internet sites like refusenresist.org and commondreams.org laud Antioch. The site making-a-difference.com describes the college as “committed to internationalization and to peace. Antioch encourages its students to have a balanced respect for all of life — for one's self, for others, for society, and for the Earth…" Just not white males, especially randy suitors. 

Sex by the Numbers....
 
Antioch’s post-modernist proclivities can peculiarly manifest.  In 1994, the college established a code of conduct that required a male student to ask explicit permission of his female conspirator at every stage of a possible sexual encounter, from initial contact to intercourse.  One sociologist estimated that up to 150 inquiries spiced such a seduction. There was debate.  For example, does the code apply “to all initiators, regardless of gender?” Resolved: “cross-national and cross-cultural studies still show that …explicit …risky behavior…the initiation of contact…are engaged in by men,” (those rascally stereotyping radicals). Undeterred, the school offers a special Sexual Offenses Prevention Program (with the suggestive acronym of SOPP). No word on whether this applies to the campus' homosexual community, who now share dorm rooms with women rather than men.
 
Human Rights Activists Against Human Rights

When summing up Antioch, Mr. Haughsby stated, “It is the most interesting college in the world.” The goal, said Horace Mann, is to “leave with a sense of optimism and responsibility…that they can…change the world” and to “be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity.”  The most recent battle won for humanity, the liberation of Iraq, was opposed in “A resolution adopted by the Antioch College Community on March 4, 2003” posted on the college’s website.  “As a nation…(that) has in the past chosen violence over diplomacy, secrecy over public disclosure, and fear over understanding,…”  It warns of “unwarranted bloodshed” and the “fervent rush to war” premised on a failure “to present irrefutable evidence of imminent danger… without UN consent… whose “inevitable effects – loss of civilian life, destruction of infrastructure, displacement of peoples, and environmental devastation.”  Further “regime change will only serve to destabilize the region.”  Most worrisome to the majority majority campus and faculty was “that a disproportionate percentage of the U.S. armed forces are working class and peoples of color…(whose) burden…will rest unjustly on their shoulders.”  They would prefer the “funds allocated… be better spent on education, housing, health care, job training, and renewable energy.” Oh well, there’s still the free Mumia petition to pass around the campus.




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