Los Angeles Times
In Florida, a college purge
Re “College ensnared in his war on ‘woke,’ ” Feb. 5
As a graduate of New College of Florida, I witnessed the recent board meeting in which Gov. Ron DeSantis’ newly appointed trustees ignored community pleas to get to know the school before taking a wrecking ball to it.
For those who cherish a liberal arts education, it was a depressing spectacle. The new appointees demonstrated how political lust could destroy a highly regarded public college.
Watching them dismiss the concerns of the one student trustee was especially noteworthy. When she objected to voting on an interim president and legal counsel she had never heard of, the condescending response was that these men were respected by the new majority, end of discussion.
One trustee, undaunted by his earlier inability to craft a motion and misreading of the school’s budget, mansplained that she was free to vote no, sunshine be damned.
Watching this impressive young woman process this realpolitik ramrodding was hard to watch. But these appointees had revealed who they are and what they value — and what they value isn’t education.
Carol Flint Santa Monica
College should be a place where ideas of all political viewpoints are shared and respected. Unfortunately, since the 2016 election, conservative students have had to go underground because of prejudicial professors and peers.
This does not mean that I support DeSantis appointing only conservative trustees at the New College of Florida. A nice mix of views would be best.
But I do know this: If you are a conservative parent, you have to give your firstyear college child a talk. This talk basically says that if your professor is a leftist, agree with everything he has to say, parrot his politics back to him on his exams, and escape from his class with a good grade.
America’s colleges should not lean right or left but be institutions where one learns to respect the cogent ideas from both sides of the political spectrum.
Mark Walker Yorba Linda