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Hear Those Crickets Chirping?

The great unreported story on campus, at least since the "diversity arches" and the Poffenbarger fiasco, has been students' general apathy toward heavy-handed administrative attempts to impose "open-mindedness" and "tolerance."

The Sun admirably takes on this obvious trend in a story today about the lackluster attendance at the latest "Diversity Council" forum (six students, although one guess as to how many of them were student leaders or campus activists to begin with). Here's a typical gem:

“This [forum] will act as a conduit to the Executive Committee of the UDC to see what we should be doing to enhance diversity in Cornell,” said Robert Harris Jr., vice provost for diversity and faculty development, as he introduced the forum.

Harris has been saying this sort of thing for years. If he was honest with himself, he'd take a quick look around the room and read the attendance numbers as evidence that whatever he's doing isn't enhancing diversity at Cornell, fostering a meaningful dialogue or even easing frictions between groups. I suspect most students have figured out that talking about diversity is a useless gloss when the real discussion should be about the campus's still-present racial tensions and mutual distrust. By ignoring the real issues, Harris and his supporters compound the problem.

Andy Guess | Posted on October 30, 2007 (#)

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