Thursday, May 10, 2007

Campus Ignorance

Any time you are looking for an example of flat out ignorance, it is usually a safe bet to go looking at an institution of "higher learning". The latest example to come to my attention is at Hamline University in St. Paul, MN.

Apparently the administration felt that their students were in need of counseling after the massacre at Virginia Tech and sent out a group email to the students letting them know of the services.

One student, Troy Scheffler, who has a CC permit apparently thought there was a better way to handle the situation than counseling.

Scheffler had a different opinion of how the university should react. Using the email handle "Tough Guy Scheffler," Troy fired off his response: Counseling wouldn't make students feel safer, he argued. They needed protection. And the best way to provide it would be for the university to lift its recently implemented prohibition against concealed weapons.

"Ironically, according to a few VA Tech forums, there are plenty of students complaining that this wouldn't have happened if the school wouldn't have banned their permits a few months ago," Scheffler wrote. "I just don't understand why leftists don't understand that criminals don't care about laws; that is why they're criminals. Maybe this school will reconsider its repression of law-abiding citizens' rights."

A few days later, he again shot off an email, but decided to vent about a few other things as well.

After stewing over the issue for two days, Scheffler sent a second email to University President Linda Hanson, reiterating his condemnation of the concealed carry ban and launching into a flood of complaints about campus diversity initiatives, which he considered reverse discrimination.

"In fact, three out of three students just in my class that are 'minorities' are planning on returning to Africa and all three are getting a free education on my dollar," Scheffler wrote with thinly veiled ire. "Please stop alienating the students who are working hard every day to pay their tuition. Maybe you can instruct your staff on sensitivity towards us 'privileged white folk.'"

Apparently, that got some attention. He was placed on suspension and required to both pass a mental evaluation (at his expense) and convince the Dean of Students he was fit to be at the school.

Now, not having available the full text of the emails, I can't speak to whether or not Scheffler presented his arguments in a coherent manner. The fact that he is a 31 year old grad student with aspirations of law school makes me think that he likely did, but who knows. Regardless of that, the administration showed that, like most advocates of gun control, they are completely ignorant about the kinds of people that get CC permits.

They automatically assume them to be some kind of nut on the verge of killing everyone in site for the slightest of provocations. Cloaking themselves firmly in the events at VT, they even posted an officer at the door of his class.

He has also suffered embarrassment. Scheffler obeyed the campus ban and didn't go to class, but his classmate, Kenny Bucholz, told him a police officer was stationed outside the classroom. "He had a gun and everything," Bucholz says. Dean Julian Schuster appeared at the beginning of class to explain the presence of the cop, citing discipline problems with a student. Although Schuster never mentioned Scheffler by name, it didn't take a scholar to see whose desk was empty.

So apparently, expressing views in favor of the 2nd Amendment an against Affirmative Action are "discipline problems" at Hamline and warrant swift action and questioning of one's mental stability.

Of course, Hamline is a private institution and I believe the relationship between the school and it's students should be at will, but this seems a ham-fisted way to treat a student. If I were Scheffler, I would be asking for a pro-rated refund for the rest of the semester.

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