The freshman class at Evergreen State College (ESC) has dropped by 50 percent to 300 students after last year’s “diversity” protest waged by far-left-leaning students demanding that white students be expelled from campus as part of their “Day of Absence.”
In May 2017, the leftist college campus in Washington state drew national attention when student threats and violence were waged against biology professor Bret Weinstein because he declined to leave campus for the “Day of Absence.”
“Weinstein had told the director of a campus multicultural office via an email that he was not leaving campus on a day when white students and faculty were asked to voluntarily leave campus,” The College Fix recounted. “The day was a reversal of previous days of absence – during which nonwhite students and faculty left campus to demonstrate their value to the campus and remaining whites participated in anti-racism workshops.”
Submit to ‘diversity’ agenda, or else …
When Weinstein amicably expressed to diversity-activist students his reservations over the controversial plan to kick white students off campus for a day, the protesters defiantly confronted him and reportedly held him captive inside his office.
“Weinstein was surrounded by a student mob and yelled at for refusing to participate, with the crowd chanting ‘Hey hey, ho ho, Bret Weinstein’s got to go.’” The College Fix staff noted.
As a result, he was forced to teach his course that day off campus because campus police warned him that they could not protect him if he held it on school grounds.
“Weinstein said campus police warned him against returning to campus – causing him to hold his biology class in a public park,” WND reported. “He and his wife, Professor Heather Heying, later resigned and reached a $500,000 settlement with the university in a lawsuit they filed.”
Shedding some light on a dark situation
ESC Biological and Environmental Science professor Mike Paros – one of the only professors who supported Weinstein and the last member of the Heterodox Academy (HxA) that advocates viewpoint diversity on college campuses – wrote about the ongoing dilemma on campus spurred in the name of so-called “diversity.”
“[The] student protests in May of 2017 cast this obscure experimental liberal arts college into the limelight with the likes of Yale, Middlebury and Berkeley, and catapulted former Evergreen professors Bret Weinstein and Heather Heying into the ‘Intellectual Dark Web,’” Paros shared on the HxA website. “On a personal note, I am doing well – despite a past public condemnation of the current president’s handling of student protesters and former colleague Weinstein. As the only remaining Evergreen professor who is a member of HxA, I have found refuge with like-minded academics that share a wariness of like-minded academics.”
The so-called “social-justice” movement on campus was then addressed.
“Advocacy and activism – rather than the pursuit of truth and knowledge – is being promoted as a way of recruiting desperately needed new students,” Paros insisted. “In 2011, Evergreen changed its official mission statement to read: ‘Evergreen supports and benefits from a local and global commitment to social justice.’”
He then discussed the detrimental effects of the new ultra-left agenda adopted on the Pacific Northwest campus.
“Bringing in new faculty or guest speakers with conservative or centrist political perspectives is considered risky and out of the question at the moment,” Paros pointed out. “Fear and self-censorship is pervasive among Evergreen faculty – especially under the existing budget crisis. An ‘independent’ External Review Panel exonerated the president and administrators while blaming Evergreen’s woes on Bret Weinstein and ‘alt-right’ agitators prompted one journalist to ask, ‘Who Will the Evergreen Mob Target Next?’”
It was then emphasized that the social justice movement is by no means isolated to Evergreen State College.
“Colleges and universities across the country are implementing policies intended to protect students from content deemed emotionally harmful,” Paros asserted. “Common safeguard measures include disinviting controversial speakers, rules against ‘microaggressions’, and the use of ‘trigger warnings’ and ‘safe spaces.’”
Militant leftists scaring away students?
Paros went on to note that the “diversity” crisis spurred him to teach students about tolerating ideas that do not necessarily conform to their own.
“I was moved to develop a program called ‘A Liberal Education in the College Bubble,’ – which I will be teaching this fall – [and] it embodies the spirit of HxA, while utilizing readings, tools and techniques developed by our members and the newly developed OpenMind platform,” he added. “And I’m pleased to report that the class is full – despite catastrophic drops in enrollment that has resulted in massive layoffs of Evergreen faculty and staff.”
The plummet in enrollment elsewhere on campus was then mentioned.
“This fall, we expect less than 300 freshmen to attend Evergreen – a 50-percent drop from two years ago,” the professor informed. “It is the only four-year institution in the state of Washington that has seen a decrease in applications, and is currently publicly funded for 4,200 students – far greater than this year’s anticipated total attending class of 2,800.”
He then reflected on the underlying reasoning behind the downward enrollment shift.
“[The freshman class’ dip in enrollment] shows that the students abandoning Evergreen aren’t simply those who were present for the campus takeover last year and who decided not to return,” Paros emphasized, according to WND. “It turns out the greatest impact was on students (and parents) considering the school for their future.”
The concerned professor also issued an alert that the student body at ESC will decline to approximately half the size it was before 2017’s student takeover if the downward enrollment trend persists for just four years – and even less if school officials do not turn things around … soon.
“News that Evergreen is struggling, cutting staff positions and slicing budgets is not likely to help them bring in new students or retain current ones,” Paros impressed. “Failure is not an appealing quality in a college.”
It is feared that the situation on campus could get even worse, as the current enrollment plunge more than doubled the anticipated drop forecasted by school officials last semester.
“Earlier this year, Evergreen President George Bridges predicted a 20-percent drop in enrollment,” The College Fix noted.