Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Hippie school to close

The Cincinnati Enquirer:

Antioch College [school motto: "the Sangamon State of Ohio"--ed.] said Tuesday that it will close in 2008 because of a lack of money and will try to find enough funds to reopen four years later. Enrollment at the college, known for its offbeat approach to education and a history of social activism, has dwindled from more than 2,000 students in the 1960s to 400 this year, spokeswoman Linda Sirk said. . . .

A small endowment [heh--ed.] and heavy dependence on tuition combined to hurt operations, said the college, which is about 60 miles northeast of Cincinnati in Greene County. . . .

About 160 faculty and staff will lose positions when the school shuts down, said Mary Lou LaPierre, vice chancellor for university advancement.

And for Ward Churchill, another hope for a teaching position is gone.

The school also has been a fertile ground for social activism. Civil disobedience has been part of that, with anti-Vietnam war protests in the 1960s and '70s, and demonstrations against the Iraq war in recent years. In 1994, students took over a campus building for 32 days to protest the school's plans to turn it into an admissions office instead of a student-activity center.

Tuesday, Hamilton County Coroner O'dell Owens, a 1971 Antioch graduate, recalled his time at the college, when the only three rules were: no cheating, no wearing bathing suits to the cafeteria and no sex on campus (a rule students successfully lobbied to have removed).

Owens said his classmates were liberal and socially active and, above all, honorable. After some students were scolded for breaking windows in protest of the Vietnam War, subsequent vandalism came in the form of papers taped to intact windows noting that the window had been "officially broken." Another time, an anonymous artist was leaving a footprint in various places on campus, he said, and the bursar arrived one day to find that very footprint inside her safe - along with $38,000 that hadn't been touched.

That's heavy. A couple of the comments are cute, too:
I graduated in 93. I intentionally transferred to Antioch after 4 years at O.U. because of the co-op program and because of the reputation for social activism. “Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity” has been my personal motto. . . .
Now it's my personal motto too! One more:
Some of the [anti-Antioch] comments below are completely ignorant, and demonstrate, above all else, the same kind of xenophobia that is threatening our country today (i.e.: fear of the other or "Middle East" masked as a desire to spread "democracy," i.e. U.S. interests). Those who speak poorly of Antioch do not see the need to teach, from a radical stance, the importance of understanding institutional racism, fighting sexism and gender discrimination, and understanding the impact of globalization. To those of you who condemn the college for attempting to breach the hegemonic paradigm of protestant, capitalist, imperialist America: clutch your Bible tight, may you find your salvation in another life. This life, however, is for action, change, and revolution.
Dare you to start counting the leftist cliches in that paragraph.

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