“We may be the future decision makers, but most of us aren’t leaders” writes Julie Hartman in the Wall Street Journal
College students have de minimis risk from COVID. Yet universities have imposed irrational and draconian mask and vaccination policies on students with harsh consequences for those who do not obey, or even speak up, against administration edicts.
One Yale student likened life on campus to that of a “surveillance state.” At the University of Chicago students were forced to sign a “Required COVID-19 Attestation” in direct contradiction to the school’s academic freedom policies.
Hartman writes that all this insanity has infantilized her generation of college students:
More concerning than the administration’s heavy-handedness has been the zombielike response of the student body. I ask my friends, “Why do young, fully vaccinated students continue to tolerate these irrational Covid restrictions?” While many of my peers acknowledge the excess, they shrug it off. The prevailing mood on campus is resignation, learned helplessness and reluctance to dissent.
These policies have also empowered groups of students to act as self-appointed enforcers who use COVID policies to bludgeon their fellow students.
There is a smaller group at Harvard that apparently find pleasure in these restrictions. These students will chastise you for not wearing a mask correctly and called one of my brave peers who publicly denounced Harvard’s Covid restrictions a “eugenicist” because he supposedly showed insufficient sensitivity to immunocompromised people. They love Covid for the moral high ground it gives them to condescend to and control others.
Red Guards in training? Don’t be so quick to dismiss. The unfortunate truth is that events in early life, including those during the college experience, have an important role in forming our outlook and behaviors in later life.
For many, that means sheepish, unquestioning adherence to edicts of the elites no matter how silly or irrational.
For others, that means becoming hectoring, humorless bureaucrats, politicians and bosses.
What does that mean for America? As Hartman puts it: “My peers and I are often told that we are the future leaders of America. We may be the future decision makers, but most of us aren’t leaders. The inability of Harvard students to question or oppose these irrational bureaucratic excesses bodes ill for our ability to meet future challenges.”