GW Student Groups Denounce Campus Security Protection As “Act of Violence”

150px-GWUlogoGeorge Washington (where I teach at the law school) has become the focus of national attention due to a letter sent out by a collection of student groups that declared the security supplied by campus police to be an “act of violence” because police are viewed as supporting President-elect Donald Trump. It is an absurd and insulting position — part of a tirade by the groups calling for everything from providing sanctuary to undocumented immigrants to breaking down patriarchy, Islamophobia, and a myriad of other social ills.  The deep sense of community and societal concerns reflected in the letter is a good thing and something that this university has always fostered.  However, the gratuitous slap at our campus police is neither productive nor warranted.

The letter reflects the contributions of a wide array of groups, including Young Progressives Demanding Action GW, the Feminist Student Union, the Roosevelt Institute, Progressive Student Union, Students for Justice in Palestine, Green GW, Fossil Free GW, GroW Community, Casa Blanca, the Theta Chapter of Latinas Promoviendo Comunidad/Lambda Pi Chi Sorority, inc., Asian Pacific Islander Student Alliance Advocacy Committee, and the Association of Queer Women and Allies. It is important to note that this is just a relatively small fraction of the many groups at GWU.

As for GW campus police, the groups tied all officers to the organizational support of the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) for Donald Trump. Accordingly, the groups insists that “placing us in these officers’ care is an act of violence, especially for Black students.” Not only do the students demand that they be protected from campus security but that the university respond to this problem by increasing financial aid, discretionary funds, and other support for minority and low income students.

The connection drawn between the FOP and the campus security is facially ridiculous. These students are seeking to isolate officers based on their perceived support for a democratically elected president. The “act of violence” is the simple maintenance of a security staff for the university. None of these organizations appear to recognize the implications of barring employees from supplying services based on their presumed political leanings. These are the same groups that later in the letter demand that the university guarantee the rights of campus workers to organize and make demands. Yet, due to their perceived political beliefs, these workers are to be treated as objectified vehicles of oppression and violence:

“safety must not depend on the University’s police. The Fraternal Order of Police, the largest police union in the United States, has formally endorsed President-Elect Donald Trump. The FOP includes over 10,000 members in Washington D.C., many of which have jurisdiction over GW’s campus. Placing us in these officers’ care is an act of violence, especially for Black students.”

In addition to demanding that the university become a sanctuary for undocumented persons, the letter demands other commitments like the university recognizing “white supremacy” and how “The 2016 presidential election has emboldened the structures of oppression that are embedded in our country at all social, political, and economic levels.”

The demands also include greater protections and admissions for Palestinian students “to prevent their genocide at the hands of Israel” and the university supplying job training and community centers in Washington, D.C. as well as facilities for the homeless.

The tragic irony is that we have long had one of the most responsive and supportive security forces in the country. I have worked with campus security in a volunteer program teaching elementary students about the law. These officers operate in a high crime area and try hard to protect the faculty and students from harm. They deserve better than this unhinged tirade. I am confident that the professionals working for the university will not be affected by this letter. They will continue to do their jobs and protect all students and faculty. However, they should know that many of us appreciate their hard work and dedication.

The call for the university to subsidize various social programs for the homeless, undocumented, and other groups ignores our primary educational mission. We remain one of the most expensive schools in the country. In addition to the demand for more financial aid and discretionary funds, the supply of housing, training, and shelter services would impose tremendous costs of students who already face towering tuition debt. GW has a long history of community outreach and activism. Yet, we remain at our core an educational institutional with a duty to our students to supply an education at an affordable cost.

I am glad to see activism and passion from our students. These are issues worthy of debate. However, this letter seems more visceral and sensational than constructive in my opinion.

What do you think?

Here is the letter:




98 thoughts on “GW Student Groups Denounce Campus Security Protection As “Act of Violence””

  1. It seems to be boredom. There is little connection between the perceived irritants and the demanded remedies.. It’s kind of embarrassing for the students to have written this and even more so because they don’t recognize it.

    “Not only do the students demand that they be protected from campus security but that the university respond to this problem by increasing financial aid, discretionary funds, and other support for minority and low income students.”

    Maybe it’s about money. How venal.

    1. Feyd – what the students do not realize is that the school recieves a set amount of federal funds for student loans, etc. They do not get more money if there are more students or the tuition went up, just the same money, so the amount goes to fewer students or is lessened for each student.

  2. It is wrong to classify all students as “mentally ill”. It is true that they belong in the asylum. But the catagory is “retard”.

  3. Every twatwaffle that had a hand in this letter should be expelled. These snowflakes obviously think they are so special. The only thing the are is a danger to society!

    1. They won’t be expelled, higher education is a big business in this country. That’s why there are far more colleges and universities than we need, admitting many students who are academically unqualified, and then offering fluff majors so that they can keep receiving the tuition payments for as long as possible. That most students will end up with a worthless degree and crushing debt is not their concern, so long as this system continues to support all the cushy jobs for professors and administrators.

  4. Bringing back “the Draft” is also a good idea. And Vietnam would be the right kind of place to send the creatures who get drafted. And the students at Dumb Y U in DC can start thinking about something else.

    Right now it is best to keep them all in the same asylum. Whatever the Doctor says.

    1. Milo – we need to bring back the boot camp of the early 60s for both men and women. R. Lee Ermey should run every one of them.

  5. Back in the sixties, when I was in university there was a continual flow of manifestos and other such protests, just like this one. Society back then, in Canada, was against the Viet Nam War, along with almost all of the rest of the advanced nations, and aghast at the crimes the US perpetrated against their Black community. Protests sometimes made perfect sense as with those against the Viet Nam War and US racial issues and sometimes not so much sense as when some exuberant traveller came back from China with all sorts of news about a better life.

    This is nothing more than the expressions of future lawyers, just like Turley, and other future professionals who will laugh at their antics back in college. Whether it be mindless youthful expressions, purposely perverse expressions to get a rise, or perhaps even contain some point or two that should be reflected upon; this has been the fare of universities throughout the world since they began. So, Turley, give it a rest and post some more serious issues, such as the ethical versus legal arguments for Trump’s private life/public life soon to be controversies. Is Trump going to make big bucks on his latest game show? How disgusting will his lies become as he fends off criticism? Will he attack the media with his office as he has thus far? Turley you protest too much. Either you have some wild hair up your nose about what students should or should not be able to say or you are just lazy. There are many other better happenings to present.

    1. issac – how many blacks were in Canada in the 60s, not counting the ones from the US? Don’t forget, it was the Democratic Party that was causing problems with the blacks.

      1. Oh stop it Paul. Issac has not yet reached the point in the grieving process where he’s ready for reality. At this point I think he just needs a big hug. You go issac, come on brother!

        1. Will Assac be in mourning for the next 9 days for dear ole Fidel, flying the Canadian flag at half mast?

          1. Well J Pismo, according to Issac Canada is one of the many “advanced” countries that are more enlightened about government’s role in the lives of its people. They are now led by a man who believes Castro was a “larger than life leader who served his people”. For all we backwards-thinking conservatives know, the young Prime Minister may simply be a fan of Hannibal Lecter.

    2. “There are many other better happenings to present.”

      Your prognostications DO NOT qualify as “happenings”. They would fit better in the letter the GW groups presented. I will say you seem to be moving along in your grieving process and perhaps at some point you will regain some sense of reality.

      Good luck.

    3. issac – some antics are more hostile than others. Students at the US Military Academy during the 19th century fired a small cannon thru the door of a professor they did not like. 🙂

      1. Olly – they are never getting to acceptance. I never really accepted Kennedy, Johnson, Carter, Clinton, or Obama. 🙂

    4. I usually enjoy your posts, but don’t like it when anyone attacks the hand that tries to enhance our skills in critical thinking.

  6. Phrase

    (the) lunatics have taken over the asylum

    Said of a situation in which those in charge are incapable of handling their responsibilities, and should rather be put under scrutiny themselves.

  7. Keep quiet for 5 days and they will be on to a new topic. However, they do expect the university to become racist, which I find offensive. And they want to be a ‘sanctuary university’ which could only bring trouble. Federal money comes with strings. If Trump is as good as his word and pulls the federal funds from the top 10 sanctuary cities, they will go broke. California will go broke. WE will save a lot of money. 🙂

  8. The lyrics to the Randy Newman song: Doctor, Doctor, are relevant to faculty and students alike at this mental facility in DC:

    Here are the full lyrics:

    “Doctor, Doctor”

    My brother’s a machinist and he works at the mill
    And he makes more money than you ever will
    He just got married to a Polish girl
    With a space between her teeth
    When he was ten or eleven years old
    He was helping out my Pop in the barbershop
    Sweeping up the hair as it would drop
    On to the boardwalk and out of the shop

    Doctor, doctor, what you say?
    How ’bout lettin’ him out today?
    I can promise you he’ll be OK
    There ain’t no reason for him to stay

    Get him back on his feet again
    Back on his feet again
    Open the door and set him free
    Get him back on his feet again

    One day he was workin’ in the barbershop
    Knocked over some bottles with the handle of his broom
    And he cried
    Daddy took him to a baseball game, and still he cried
    Daddy took him to the zoo, and still he cried
    Daddy said, “Son, I ain’t angry,
    But I’m so disappointed in you.”

    Get him back on his feet again
    Back on his feet again
    Open the door and set him free
    Get him back on his feet again

  9. This has all the indications that those who wrote this apCray and joined in are mentally deranged.
    Doctor, Doctor, what you say?
    How bout lettin me out today?
    Ain’t no reason for me to stay… for everybodies far away.
    Get me back on my feet again!
    Back on my feet again!

    Open the door!
    Set me free!
    Get me back on my feet again.

    -Randy Newman

  10. Little dictators in the making! Their narrow mind set…I’m right and morally superior bow down.

  11. Are the campus cops even represented by the FOP? If not, the entire missive is a non-sequitur.

  12. Is there a way they can be safely escorted to a different planet where their demands will be met?

  13. JT, Maybe you and the other professors are to blame for the way these students conduct themselves?

    1. I was going to suggest the very same thing. At what point do those “credentialed and tenured” so called educators take responsibility for the product they have created. It is an institutional crisis of forced government internment of young people. The Universities create it by what they teach at the Teacher’s Colleges and finish the indoctrination when the snowflakes they have created fall into their college classes like collectivized mush.

      As proof, I doubt you will find a single home schooled student in this bunch of JT and ilk trained whiners. Honorable professors like JT and their tenured masses in education from K to College may not realize how they have done it (which is a cryin’ shame in and of itself) but they have created this brood of BS who are, LOL!, supposed to be our future business titans and political leaders.

      1. Yup. Safe Zones, Hold a puppy if your traumatized by an election, Excused from a test because you don’t like the results, “He’s not my President”, Don’t fly the American flag, That Halloween costume is offensive, no conservative can speak here, on and on and on…… Many of these morons will be running for office someday and demanding all Americans do as they say and that’s no joke.

        I will say it again Bring Back The Draft!

          1. I wanted to add we were all better off when they were eating Gold fish, trying to stuff as many as possible in a phone booth or VW.

            As far as punishment goes use it on the parents.

  14. I wonder if these students. and their professors and adult mentors have considered what might happen if they succeed in convincing the rest of America to make employment decisions on the basis of political point of view?

    Don’t tell Trump. He will probably think it is a great idea – well it was proposed by students at one of the leading universities.

  15. Obviously, just from reading this account, there doesn’t seem to be much administrative leadership at GW.
    A university administration can’t control what occurs off campus, but on campus, and without denying free speech, it can ban any demonstrations that seek to block access to a building, or hinder anyone from going from A to B on the campus. It can ban signage and in-your-face verbal outbursts which suggest violence to any person or group. It can deny meeting rooms for any but truly academic purposes. University penalties for violations on campus, and for convictions for civil disturbances by students off campus, should be graduated until the student is permanently expelled.
    This retired engineer and manager is pretty fed up with just about all major universities. I used to support the University of Texas at Austin. No longer. It is pretty obvious that the administrations of most large institutions are feckless and ideologically far to the Left of most Americans. [The fecklessness sort of reminds me of Congress’s behavior during the last couple of decades with the Executive Branch.] Because of the types of behaviors you and others describe nationwide, I would certainly favor reduction of Federal aid of all sorts for all institutions of higher learning. I don’t want my tax dollars going to any of these places.

    Arnold Falk

    1. If U.Texas is anything like U.C., you can support specific majors or programs. I wouldn’t give 2 cents to the general coffers of U.C., but donating for scholarships in the engineering dept, or research in the neurobiology program, for example, would be very worthwhile. Just don’t donate to any dept that the SJW’s could get their hands on your money!

  16. I think the fantasy world these student activists live in would be tragically burst if criminals around GW campus were to find out that campus security were standing down for any reason. Prof. Turley is right to be concerned about this disconnect between campus activists and the real world.

  17. It looks like a tantrum. These are pretty non-specific “demands.” Lots of demands for “support” and “protection” but all they’re doing is presenting a list of grievances without any well-considered plan of action.

    I have a nephew who does the same annoying thing. He complains loudly and then waits expectantly for someone else to do the heavy lifting of developing a solution to whatever (non)problem he’s complaining about.

  18. The irony of this one just slays me:” The trend of declining employment in the University Office of Sustainability must be reversed as the number of full time employees has declined from four to one.”

  19. These students are undoubtedly enrolled in flaky majors and therefore have way too much time on their hands. They engage in these adolescent power plays in college because that’s the only place on earth that anyone will listen to them. My suggestion: Ignore them.

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