Friday, March 02, 2007

Q and A

Question (from:
"Suggest one radically innovative change-or one innovative policy or program-that would make Dartmouth a better college and which, to the best of your knowledge, no competitor college is doing."

My answer:
Eliminate our college's de facto segregation based on race, sexual orientation, and ethnicity. In other words shuffle the student body (in dorms, social organizations, cafeterias, cultural events, classrooms, etc.) so that the cultural diversity that is so professed in most college communiqu├ęs becomes a societal benefit and not a liability ... and the ethereal good claimed to accrue from such diversity can indeed evolve and prosper. Dispose of all faculty titles, pseudo "departments", college-sponsored events, and accredited courses that encourage this de facto segregation and, instead, create a monopole college culture that understands and champions cross-cultural interactions and character building such as described in Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream.

Notice, in my dream, I do not include gender or religion (and disabilities too) as de facto segregations. These are exempted because, if all religions are melded, there is no religion. And if both genders are undifferentiated, then society gets the natural benefits from neither. These two special communities can and have provided great comfort and havens to students in the past (fraternities, sororities, churches, etc.). Now, our inability to make such simple and obvious distinctions as these forces today's society to insist that all sectors (including religion, gender and disabilities) are absolutely equivalent. As a consequence we get such ludicrous scenes as wheel-chair bound individuals "climbing" Mt. Everest, apologies during Christmas Eve services at the Wellesley College chapel for using the word "Christ" in carols, and the requiring of separate restrooms for cross-gender individuals. (I drive my liberal friends crazy when I take my Down syndrome brother-in-law into the voting booth to cast his vote. They say that I get two votes as a consequence. This is true and my brother-in-law should not be given the vote, but in order to show how ludicrous this societal "equivalence" is, I keep having him vote.).

1 comment:

George W. Potts said...

Your alma mater says it is going to institute 'gender-neutral'
housing next year, meaning co-ed rooms (where desired by the
students, I assume).

Should we consider this a change that is going to make Dartmouth a
better college?

Well, not in my curmudgeonly view.

Denny Goodman