Friday August 21, 2020
It does not take nearly as much to be a rebel at college as it used to. With a multiplicity of rules restricting college students’ activities at campuses across America in the name of countering coronavirus, a significant act of rebellion can be to shake hands with a friend, leave your nose and mouth uncovered, or congregate in a group. In other words, rebellion can be to take ordinary actions of the verboten “old normal.”
Administrators at Syracuse University in New York appear to be hopping mad that a group of largely freshmen students on Wednesday evening, during the students’ time on campus before fall semester classes begin, did something you would expect them to do — join together in a group and socialize.
What has been normal and even encouraged, is now forbidden. This living life stuff cannot stand, college administrators demand.
“Last night, a large group of first-year students selfishly jeopardized the very thing that so many of you claim to want from Syracuse University—that is, a chance at a residential college experience.” That is the first sentence of a Thursday letter to Syracuse students from J. Michael Haynie, a Syracuse University vice chancellor. The forbidden action these students took, writes Haynie, is gathering in the Quad. The Quad is an outdoor place on campus where, in school years past, students regularly met and events were commonly held.