What to do?
Well, first recognize that the college can be viewed one of two ways:
- it is a business selling credentials (not education) as its product
- it is a department of the federal government, fully funded through government money that is funneled through students who borrow money from the government to attend.
Keep in mind that the money borrowed is a permanent debt. Adults who owe the government educational loan money cannot discharge that debt in bankruptcy nor in any other venue. They have to pay it, either through wage garnishment or deathbed estate garnishment. Unlike any other debt that is incurred, there is no legal way to get out from under it unless the government spontaneously decides to forgive the debt. It is the modern version of the debtor's prison.
So, these adults look at the product the university is delivering and revolt.
Is it legitimate?
Sure it is. Given the two cases above, the adults who are protesting are living out one of two situations.
- If (1) above obtains, then the consumers have a every right to demand changes in the product they are purchasing
- If (2) above obtains, then the citizens have every right to petition for change in the way their government runs. In fact, this particular right is guaranteed by the Constitution.
EITHER WAY, these adults (and they are adults), have the right to behave as they are behaving and the right to get the change they are petitioning for.
Now, you and I don't have to LIKE this (I personally think they aren't acting in their own best interests), but we cannot deny their right to do this.
We can't complain that it is a drain on taxpayers - insofar as it is a loan, this is the one loan that MUST be paid back. We can't complain that they don't have the right to protest. Certainly they do. We can complain that we don't like their choice - but it is THEIR money and THEIR debt, so why wouldn't they have the right to protest the quality of the product they perceive themselves as getting?
Everyone, especially conservatives and libertarians, are acting like the Mizzou students are pampered special little snowflakes. Maybe they are. But aren't we always harping on people to take responsibility for their education? They are.
I personally think the whole thing is based on a hoax, deliberately foisted on them and promulgated by administrators and teachers with an agenda that has nothing to do with the students. Smart administrators and teachers can easily direct loose cannon students for their own ends. But again, if that's what the purchasers of this particular product want to be and do, well? They're the ones on the stick for the educational loans. It is their life to live.