I read this excellent article in the NY Times....very thought provoking. You've just gotta read it. I laughed out loud at some parts....

I'll excerpt some interesting portions. But, seriously, read it!


Here at Amherst College, many students were vocally annoyed this semester when 40 professors paraded into the dining hall with antiwar signs. One student confronted a protesting professor and shoved him.

Some students here accuse professors of behaving inappropriately, of not knowing their place.

"It seems the professors are more vehement than the students," Jack Morgan, a sophomore, said. "There comes a point when you wonder are you fostering a discussion or are you promoting an opinion you want students to embrace or even parrot?"

Across the country, the war is disclosing role reversals, between professors shaped by Vietnam protests and a more conservative student body traumatized by the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Prowar groups have sprung up at Brandeis and Yale and on other campuses. One group at Columbia, where last week an antiwar professor rhetorically called for "a million Mogadishus," is campaigning for the return of R.O.T.C. to Morningside Heights.

Even in antiwar bastions like Cambridge, Berkeley and Madison, the protests have been more town than gown. At Berkeley, where Vietnam protesters shouted, "Shut it down!" under clouds of tear gas, Sproul Plaza these days features mostly solo operators who hand out black armbands. The shutdown was in San Francisco, and the crowd was grayer.

All this dismays many professors.

"We used to like to offend people," Martha Saxton, a professor of women's studies at Amherst, said as she discussed the faculty protest with students this week. "We loved being bad, in the sense that we were making a statement. Why is there no joy now?"

Certainly not all students are pro-war or all faculty anti. But "there's a much higher percentage of liberal professors than there are liberal students," said Ben Falby, the student who organized the protest at Amherst only to find that it had more professors than students.


The students' attitudes have many possible explanations. There is no draft this time. Students on small liberal arts campuses like this one are more diverse than those of the 60's and 70's. More receive financial aid, and many are more concerned about their careers than about protesting. But the students have also been pulled toward a more conservative mainstream than their parents.

"The most left president they know is Bill Clinton, running on, `I'm tough on crime,' " Professor Sarat said. "The Great Society is to them what the New Deal was to me."

John Lewis Gaddis, a professor of history at Yale, agreed, saying: "These are the kids of Reagan. When I lecture on Reagan, the kids love him. Their parents are horrified and appalled."


At Amherst, Prof. Barry O'Connell, too, tries hard. As he sits in a discussion group with students, he patiently listens to those who argue in favor of the war, even though he remains adamantly against it. Across the hall, a mug shot of Henry A. Kissinger is posted outside his office with the heading "Wanted for Crimes Against Humanity."

"My job is not to get my students to agree with me," Professor O'Connell insisted.

Still, he conceded, `There is a second when I hear them, and my heart just falls."

WOW, Interesting, huh??? Gets ya thinking...

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