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Like so many schools across the nation, The New School in Manhattan has gone totally woke since George Floyd’s death. The students now run the institution. This was made possible by the school. Now, its administration is being held hostage by students who seemingly aren’t interested in education but activism.
A 16-point list of demands, including tuition refunds, 'A's, and better quality cafeteria food for every student has been issued by the students amidst week two of continuing protests according to a NY Post article from December 17th, 2022.
Here’s when and how the shift started at The New School. Olga Kapustina used to teach fashion design students how to combine sustainability and biotechnology at the world famous Parsons School of Design, part of the aforementioned The New School. Olga, graduated from NYU in 1997, majored in philosophy and was a pre pre-med student, and notes that was a time of true academic rigor. “When I started engineering, it was a class of 350 - only 35 graduated because most can’t make it.” She was shocked to find such an upside down academic standard at Parsons.
“When I started teaching at art school, the work ethic was so different.” She cites that all the problems began on the heels of Floyd. Students were coddled by the faculty. Class time was devoted to therapy sessions wading through each individual's preferred identities which could eat away at 45 minutes of class time. Projects for the fashion curriculum no longer had anything to do with fashion.
“I was under the impression there are certain skills to develop necessitating seeing a product by the way of clothing”, says Olga. One of her student’s thesis dealt with rejecting Olga’s instructions because Olga is white. The student pivoted from the fashion curriculum to an imaginary curriculum of changing people's minds with respect to racism. Another student tackled pronouns, presenting an idea for a podcast about transgender people in the school. “They” (a transgender who identified as a “they”) collaborated with professors at the school to go into classrooms with a manifesto to educate students on pronouns.
Things got progressively worse. Olga was accused of being transphobic by a black transgender “they” for not doling out an A and a months long Human Resource investigation ensued. Olga was ultimately forced out of the school and teaching.
Olga describes the new school environment whereby a black student sent an email to the faculty raging about the Parsons community standing by not supporting BLM. Said student berated the faculty for not bailing out protestors and donating. Olga was astonished that the student faced no repercussions for the harassment. “At that point, a black and trans student was untouchable”, said Olga. There could be no critique of “they’s” work.
On an anonymous Parsons Instagram account formed after the BLM riots of 2020, students called out “racist” professors. Olga laments that student informants can just say whatever they want and Human Resources let her know during the investigation, she was on the list. “I asked for a citation from the student who claimed it was only because of race. A citation! My son learned how to do those in 7th grade!” Olga, a Jewish Belarussian emigré adds, “I know from the Soviet system how anonymous works.”
As per the NY Post article, the New School protest, which started December 8, initially was in solidarity with the school’s adjunct faculty members “who went on strike demanding improved health care and higher wages. The occupied students demanded the New School compensate them for disruptions to their education caused by the part-time professors’ walkout.”
This tactic, by students, can become a cottage industry.
What do they want? 'A' grades. Also, “Attendance shall have no bearing on course grade.”
There is only one way to fight this insidious woke ideology. Make these educational institutions die how they live. Financial destruction. The New School’s annual tuition is $52,494 dollars. Parsons annual tuition is $53,708 dollars.
The New School and Parsons should reimburse every present student and every former student. Also, let the insanity go on record; give all students an 'A' and all graduates a posthumous 'A'. The New School and Parsons should be transparent, lay out their plans for tuition refunds and perfect scores on its website.
The public has seen over the course of two years that subscribers to the woke ideology are phonies. As soon as the unsustainable business model collapses, and it always does, they revert. Disney ousted former CEO Chapek due to abysmal earnings. Soccer teams and players backed down from insisting rainbow armbands could be worn in Qatar's World Cup (too much money was involved to remain “principled”). Starbucks, a committed Lefty organization, wasn't so committed when policies and causes it championed resulted in myriad store closures. It was an initial supporter of BLM which created safety concerns in communities where Starbucks operates. It established a policy allowing anyone to use its bathrooms in 2018, not exclusively customers as used to be the normal way businesses operated, after a manager in Philadelphia called the police when two black non customers refused to leave the location. Finally, Starbucks has installed needle-disposal boxes in bathrooms. Beyond parody, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz says Democratic mayors and city councils have “abdicated their responsibility” in combating crime.
If The New School, Parsons, and any other academic institutions are on board with woke ideology, they should have to really go along with what they promote rather than being partially committed. This will never happen because financially it is impossible. Not only will it break them, it will break employers. There has been a paradigm shift. Employers in the private sector don’t want to hire entitled, lazy, litigious activists that will go on to hijack their company and add no value. What is occurring on behalf of the Biden administration in cahoots with the education complex is two classes of people are emerging. Losers and winners. And the losers’ 'A' grades won’t be worth the paper on which it’s written.
CC; Parsons, I'm a former graduate and I'd like my tuition reimbursed. I feel like you have deliberately devalued a Parsons degree.
A weekly Human Events contributor, 1st book hitting the shelves in March 2023, Jacqueline is a Manhattan native focused on NYC issues, finding solutions, and providing a voice for the void.
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