Academia Amok

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Outrage: UM-Columbia faculty encountered dissenting opinions on Monday

Hypocrites are disappointing people. They really are. They say and advocate for one thing while, in reality, practicing the exact opposite. While they inhabit every facet of society, there exists no more a natural habitat for these disappointing people than modern academia.

Today, UM System President Tim Wolfe and UM-Columbia Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin offered their respective groveling resignations in response to the list of demands set forth by the group “Concerned Student 1950.” The group, led by professional activist and UM-Columbia graduate student Jonathan Butler who’d been participating in a hunger strike for the past week, released this public “List of Demands” on Saturday:

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King’s Ransom: Concerned Student 1950’s “List of Demands”

This document, on its face, reeks of hypocrisy. The true intent of its authors is revealed when they “demand” that UM President Tim Wolfe publicly acknowledge and apologize for his “white male privilege.” Any objective observer can recognize this demand an inadvertent forfeiture of the group’s self-implied and professed moral high ground. The list also goes on to ad a racially-based hiring quota for “black faculty” as well as the selection of Wolfe’s replacement to be carried out by a “collective” (where have we heard that one before?) of students and faculty, presumed to be comprised exclusively of Concerned Student 1950 group members and advocates.

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Agent of Change: Jonathan Butler, a UM-Columbia graduate student and professional activist

President Wolfe and Chancellor Loftin’s tenures at UM-Columbia should not be mourned. Both men appeared to be tone-deaf and negligent in their approach to dealing with student complaints and issues. But more importantly, both men, especially Wolfe, seemingly refused to stand up for themselves in the face of largely unjustified and misguided public pressure levied against them. Truly uninspiring figures.

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Nowhere Man: UM System President Tim Wolfe (above) delivered a tearful resignation speech on Monday

The real reason the resignations occurred, is of course, due to the most important and profitable element of the entire UM System: the Missouri Tigers football team. As Head Coach Gary Pinkel claimed in his press conference on Monday, members of the football team came to him with their concerns for the life and health of the aforementioned Jonathan Butler, who was purportedly “dying” from his self-imposed hunger strike. They vowed to not participate in any team activity until Butler ate again (Wolfe’s resignation). Pinkel, faced with the prospect of destroying the recruiting reputation of his life’s work, the Missouri football program, sided with his players. We can’t really blame him. Academic bureaucrats like Wolfe are hardly worth falling on your own sword over. Especially when you’re the State of Missouri’s highest-paid employee with an annual salary hovering near $3.5 million. It was an easy decision.

The endorsement by Coach Pinkel spelled the end of President Wolfe’s tenure. The $1,000,000 penalty for potentially cancelling Saturday’s upcoming game against Brigham Young University in Kansas City finally spurred the UM Board of Curators into action. They held a meeting on Monday morning and by that meeting’s end, Wolfe was tendering his resignation.

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Tension: Coach Pinkel speaking with the media on Monday

Whether you agree with the events of the past week or not; one thing is clear. The football team and the revenues it generates are the single most powerful and driving force in the city of Columbia. No amount of hunger striking, protesting, or civil disobedience can ever compare to the potential of lost revenue due to a canceled football game. Just an observation for the future.

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Field Trip: Professional activists from the Ferguson made an appearance at UM-Columbia this week

While the events of this tumultuous week unfolded. Jonathan Butler and his fellow Concerned Student 1950 members camped out in what can be best described as a ‘campsite’ on the quadrangle in front of the UM-Columbia Law School. Throughout the past week, the group’s supporters would rally near the tents in a show of solidarity, typically engaging in chants and songs largely derived from the various protest movements of the 1960’s; an idealistic association that is misguided at best, but we digress.

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Going Camping: Concerned Student 1950’s campsite on UM-Columbia’s campus

Officially, per the group’s request demand, no “media” would be allowed to enter the area nor would they be allowed to photograph or record any of the activities that took place there. In support of this request demand, some students as well as faculty, would, from time to time, attempt to discourage and block members of the media at or near the Concerned Student 1950 group’s campsite.

A media blackout in the heart of what is claimed to be America’s top journalism institution. Seriously? But once again, we digress.

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Unclear: The definition of a “safe space” is still unknown

Enter Melissa Click.

Recall how we mentioned that some students and faculty took it upon themselves to act as ‘security’ for the campsite? Well Ms. Click was one of those very faculty members.

Melissa Click is a fine example of what we’d like to call academia amok.

Ms. Click is a communications professor at UM-Columbia. She actually holds a PhD in Communication. According to her faculty page, she focuses her research on “popular culture texts and audiences, particularly texts and audiences disdained in mainstream culture.” Her current research projects include “50 Shades of Grey readers” and “the impact of social media in fans’ relationship with Lady Gaga.

Like many longstanding members of American academia, Ms. Click is angry. Her anger likely stems from the fact that everyone in the world doesn’t recognize and capitulate to her worldview.

It’s a worldview in which, she and others like her, are the true intellectuals, the true braintrust of American society. In her worldview, the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution is subjective and things like “safe spaces” and “trigger words” are plausible concepts that should be respected and strictly adhered to.

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Inspiring?: Lady Gaga’s Twitter account, Click’s professional focus

She, and others like her, are truly what’s wrong with modern American academia today. Their constant war against dissension to their self-invented intellectual superiority has led to the warm blanket known as political correctness that plagues our society today.

So on Monday, as students and faculty once again descended upon the Concerned Student 1950 campsite in order to protect it from the ever-dangerous media; Ms. Click was among them (start at 6:17): HERE 

No, your eyes and ears weren’t deceiving you. As the video shows, Ms. Click can clearly be seen and heard badgering and threatening a member of the media while pleading for fellow protesters to provide “muscle” in order to remove the aforementioned media member.

A few thoughts:

1.) Could a person be any more hypocritical? Check out Ms. Click’s call on Facebook on Saturday for more media exposure at the campsite.

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2.) For someone who claims to be so intellectually superior, she clearly lacks the intellectual capacity required to engage someone of a differing opinion. She immediately flees and pleads for some “muscle” to come to her aide in removing this dangerous dissenter, who in reality only wanted to take a few pictures. So dangerous, right?

3.) The social discourse in world of modern academia is self-governed largely by the ostracizing of the perpetrators of the perceived slights lovingly known as “micro-aggressions”. Ms. Click’s appeal to outside physical force or “muscle” in order to remove a member of the media was the ultimate micro-aggression.

As we said before, hypocrites are disappointing. As we’ve also laid out for you, Melissa Click’s conduct was the ultimate disappointment. This was made evident by her behavior in the VIDEO from Monday.

PROFESSOR OF COMMUNICATIONS actually uttered the phrase: “Hey who wants to help me get this reporter out of here? I need some muscle over here.” In that moment, she not only completely discredited herself as a media advocate, but also the institution that employs her’s reputation and credibility as a respected beacon of journalism studies and education.

What’s going to come of this? We have no idea. Will the discourse on the UM-Columbia campus continue to devolve? Hopefully not.

However, considering the current climate on the UM-Columbia campus, nothing will surprise us.

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Really?: A UM-Columbia journalism professor blocks journalists from doing their jobs on Monday.

24th State Solutions

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