Harvard and Yale Are Blowing in the Wind

Printed from: https://newbostonpost.com/2019/11/26/harvard-and-yale-are-blowing-in-the-wind/

What will Harvard and Yale do to students who occupied the field during the Harvard-Yale football game this past weekend and almost delayed it to the point where it couldn’t be finished?


And get ready for next year’s version at Harvard Stadium in Allston. Halftime should be interesting.

On Saturday, several dozen “amazing activists” took the field at Yale Bowl to complain about investments Harvard and Yale have in companies that produce oil and natural gas.

(For readers in some distant future puzzled over why people would protest investments in products that make machines work, during this particular 15 minutes of history it’s allegedly over the purportedly sincere view that the planet may end in 11 years if we don’t massively reduce the amount of carbon dioxide that is entering the atmosphere.)

Pity Yale’s football coach, Tony Reno, who must have known when he was asked about the disruption after the game what would happen to him if he condemned it. “No comment” wasn’t an option, either, in today’s campus, er, climate.

Instead, here’s his diplomatic, read-it-whichever-way-you-want comment:

“It’s what makes Yale Yale. Our group, I’m sure if you asked them and the Harvard guys what makes it special, it’s not only the game of football. It’s the passions.”

He might have been feeling magnanimous because his team had just completed an improbable comeback, winning 50-43 in double overtime.

But what if the game had ended in a tie because of darkness? How would he have felt then?

It was a real possibility, because the event delayed the game by about a half-hour. Yale Bowl doesn’t have lights. By overtime, video shows, it was noticeably darker on the field than at the beginning of the game. It was still playable, to be sure. Yet since daylight diminishes rapidly in the afternoon this time of year in New England, the game could not have gone on much longer – certainly nowhere near seven overtimes, as two games earlier this century did.

So the students’ intervention altered what may been the most important game most of the players ever played in, and it could have ruined it. That leads to a question:

Why did this disruption happen?

Forget about Twitter and texting and the commitment to fighting global whatever by me-me-me post-adolescents who can’t run, throw, catch, block, tackle, or kick.

The reason this disruption happened is that college administrators don’t have the courage to stop it, and the disrupters know that.

Some of the disrupters got arrested and slapped with disorderly conduct charges likely to be broomed. But they’d be much more concerned if they had something valuable at stake.

Instead, they are banking on not losing their much-coveted ticket to what they imagine is the upper echelon of society – a Harvard or Yale degree. And it’s a safe bet.

These kids’ thinking isn’t too good when it comes to climate change or respect for others or manners. But it’s spot on when it comes to college administrators.

Indeed, a tacit understanding exists between students and the administrators they are allegedly protesting against:  The kids can do whatever they want, and the in loco parentis tweedies will protect them.

Consider how weak you have to be not to defend one of your institution’s most noteworthy events of the year.

That’s how weak Yale officials are.

Check out how the ESPNU play-by-play broadcaster described how the disruption went down:

“Prior to when the second half was scheduled to begin, protesters came from several directions in the stadium, and basically took a seat at midfield. A small group of protesters. The teams were then taken from the field back to their respective locker rooms. And as that occurred, the protest group grew bigger – significantly larger, in fact. And here over the last 20 minutes or so, it has been students or protesters coming from every direction of the Yale Bowl.”

In other words, Yale officials did nothing to prevent weaker-kneed protesters from leaving the stands and joining the ringleaders on the field. That’s why you see headlines talking about “hundreds” of protesters. Start with a small number of people acting selfishly and breaking the law. Do nothing. Get more.

Thus, the disruption lasted longer than it would have. College officials will do nothing to the disrupters. And the next disruption will be longer.

Harvard and Yale have been the country’s two leading repositories of self-absorption for centuries. For decades, Harvard and Yale have promoted malign left-of-center principles, doing more harm than good to the country.

Yet today’s brand is different. The principles of the people who run these schools have gone from merely wrong to destructive and even laughable.

Even that doesn’t get to the heart of it, though. Today’s version of college administrator has given up on the idea of order. Not only does he not practice it; he doesn’t even admire it.

As misguided as they often were, earlier versions of these institutions had a core and a backbone. What distinguishes the current versions is weakness.

The center does not hold at Harvard or Yale because no one with a center has authority. No one even wishes for someone with authority to demonstrate it.

That leads to another question:

Why do we respect Harvard and Yale when they do not respect themselves?