What Has Become of Us?

To the Editor:
My undergraduate class will celebrate its 20-year reunion at the end of May. Though I have attended in the past, I’ll stay home this year for the sake of my classmates. I would be such a downer complaining about what the university has become. (I’m sure they’ll say my absence makes for more fun, whatever the reason may be.)

Georgetown was once the crown jewel of Jesuit education. Now its religion is Harvard envy and its Bible is the Social Justice Warrior handbook of anti-intellectual bullying.

Smarter people than me may select an earlier date, but I trace the rapid change in Georgetown’s values to the appointment of a layman as President in 2001. I’m sure he’s a good person and genuinely loves the university. But at the end of the day, the temptations and pressures of competition with other Harvard-chasing schools are too much to resist if you don’t have the bright-line, non-negotiable moral anchors of the Jesuits. The result is more money, more buildings, more famous speakers, more administrative bloat and more specially endowed “centers” whose purpose is to generate more money, more buildings, more famous speakers and more administrative bloat. Georgetown was already one big school of public policy — my four years in the SFS felt like one continuous foreign policy discussion — without needing a $100 million ego-stroker that might as well have been named the Department of Redundancy Department.

And of course there is the politics. Who decided it was great to have our most high-profile faculty member be an Al Sharpton wannabe? Which philosophy class teaches white students they deserve to be mugged? And now there’s embarrassing spectacle of students, bureaucrats, and even The Hoya trying to render mainstream conservative thinkers as “un-persons” rather than risk the catastrophe of changing one’s mind. Who needs a $100 million public policy school when these totalitarians already know the correct public policy?

I always try to keep in mind some wisdom from Billy Joel: “The good ol’ days weren’t always good, and tomorrow’s not as bad as it seems.” But this is a disgrace.

The Jesuit tradition’s culture of curiosity, engagement and humility takes many generations to build, but evidently only one generation to tear down and throw away.

Travis Blais
SFS ’95

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