Robert Tracinski identifies the the real purpose behind the student protests over at the The Federalist.
He notes that much of the student demands “read less like a manifesto of student revolutionaries, and more like a particularly aggressive salary negotiation…There is a lot going on in these demands, including an attempt to turn universities into organs of leftist indoctrination, with all opposing viewpoints rigorously purged….But underneath the creepy totalitarianism, there is a more mundane and practical purpose.” Writes Tracinski:
[…] who do you suppose is supporting and encouraging the campus protests? Who taught them the ideas they are using, and who is egging them on? The very same faculty and administrators for whom the protesters are demanding more money and power.
Everyone who has ever spent time around a university or with academics knows that beneath all the high-flown ivory tower stuff, there is a constant scramble for money and authority. Every department’s job is to expand itself, to hire more faculty and administrators, to expand its budget, to get bigger offices in a nicer building. Now the “social justice” faction among the faculty has found a way to club everyone else into submission and win departmental office politics once and for all. Accuse the university of systemic racism, force its nominal leaders into groveling apologies, and then dictate terms to the rest of the system. Emboldened and seeing that no one wants to stand up to them, they’re even attempting to take over every other department of the university by foisting mandatory courses in “social justice” on the math department.
So what looks from the outside like a student protest movement looks on the inside like an administrative coup by a small faction of the faculty, using naive and ill-informed students as their shock troops. No wonder marginal faculty members are climbing on the bandwagon and signing up to muscle out reporters and guide the young protesters. They hope to ride this to higher-paid, more secure, more powerful positions.
And what about the majority of students who are not protesters and just want an education?
As for all of the other students …. it doesn’t benefit them at all. They are the ones whose education will be watered down with tedious mandatory indoctrination sessions and who will have to spend four years of their lives living in fear of making the wrong move and offending the wrong people.
They might want to consider the way in which they are being exploited for the institutional interests of a very few people, who feed them a lot of high-minded guff about ‘systemic racism’ while angling for bigger offices and cushier salaries.” [Student Protesters, You Just Got Used]
It is these students who need to speak up and be heard.