Good afternoon, everyone.
As the president of Noname State College, I have called this meeting to address the recent unrest that has overtaken our campus community in the wake of Dr. Everett Jones' refusal to participate in a scheduled protest against "America's endemic white supremacy." I'm happy that so many student activists have decided to attend today's meeting, as what I am about to say will, I hope, represent a vital step towards quelling this unrest and restoring peace.
Several student groups - including the Concerned African Student Union, the Club for Intersectional Feminism, and the Nation of Aztlan - came to my office this past Wednesday and presented me with a list of fifty specific demands. These demands included increasing funding for our Multicultural Student Center and our Women's Center; establishing new full departments in Ethnic, Women's, and Queer Studies; setting aside black and Hispanic-only dormitories; adding a mandatory social justice course to our general education requirements; and committing to meeting specific quotas in hiring nonwhite, non-male faculty within the next five years. I have been told that if my administration and I do not fulfill these demands, the occupation of Barker and Trent Hall will continue and regular campus operations will be severely disrupted.
Over the past few days, I have carefully considered how I should respond to these students and their petition, and I have settled on the following course of action:
No, I'm not going to give you anything you want. You can scream, you can cry, you can stomp your feet -- but I'm not changing our policies one iota.
I'm certainly not going to admit that we here at Noname State College are racists because I know we aren't. If we were actually racists and you were actually oppressed as "black and brown" students, you would not be here. Period. A truly racist administration would not have admitted you, let alone built a Multicultural Center, permitted the formation and funding of ethnic student groups, or welcomed the original protest that started this controversy. Further, if you were actually oppressed, you would not feel free to hound Dr. Jones off campus for his principled objection to your demonstration, nor would you feel entitled to harass other students in the campus library because they declined to join your rally and elected to study for their midterm exams instead. This is not how truly oppressed people behave; these are the tactics of the powerful. Having witnessed other colleges and universities capitulating to similar disorders, you believe you have the upper hand and consequently have every right to do whatever you wish.
It stops here.
I'm not giving you what you want or admitting to any wrongdoing. As a matter of fact, I have called this meeting to announce the following:
As of this moment, I'm giving student protestors one hour to vacate Barker and Trent. If you do not comply with this order, I will call the police and have you all charged with trespassing.
I will also be launching an investigation into the many reported instances of criminal intimidation associated with these protests, including the egregious mistreatment of Dr. Jones. All accused students will, of course, be afforded full due process of law, but if any are found guilty, appropriate disciplinary steps will be taken.
In the future, any students who are found guilty of intimidating faculty, students, or invited guests or of otherwise violating others' civil rights will be summarily expelled.
You are here, first and foremost, to improve your minds. This means tolerating people who disagree with you, for how else will you learn to defend - or, if necessary, amend - your own beliefs? This is an uncomfortable proposition to be sure, but I have news for you: The world outside this campus is not comfortable, or safe, or perfectly inoffensive and it never will be. Thus, your job at this college is to prepare yourself for that world. Read good books. Study hard. Learn to civilly articulate your opinions and set a good example for your fellow citizens. Recognize that no one will listen if you insist on screeching like banshees and chanting empty slogans. Become the sort of upstanding, contributing adults that others will have no choice but to respect.
Or, to put it more succinctly: Grow the hell up. The world does not revolve around you and your "feelings."