Posted on August 20, 2004

South Going Left?

Joseph Pylman, The Collegiate Network, Aug. 20

The movement towards superficial equality continues. Consultants for the University of the South, in Sewanee, Tennessee, have recently recommended that the University change its official name to “Sewanee: The University of the South.”

According to a marketing report prepared by Lipman Hearne of Chicago, “The South, to which Sewanee is intimately linked because of history, location, and name, can prompt negative associations for prospective students.” And furthermore, “[B]ecause Sewanee’s full name so firmly links it with the region, it must bear the brunt of this perception, which has a particular resonance with prospects of minority ethnic and racial background, as well as with others who have not experienced life in the South.”

University officials argue that the name change is simply meant to avoid confusion that inherently stems from its original name. Yet the marketing report clearly indicates it means to change the perceptions of those attending the university and to downplay its Southern heritage.

However, this is a textbook case of the problems with the multicultural movement. The promotion of minority cultures often implicates our natural rights and common heritage. Multiculturalism has no place in academia because it teaches students first, that their heritage and ancestry is not important, and second, to think non-critically. There is a standard to measure the successes and failures of varying cultures that is not comparative. Comparative studies lead to non-critical thinkers.

The alumni of the University of the South are angry and rightfully so. A diverse student body will not result from this change, just a less educated student body that forgets its heritage.