No time to sit it out

The Liverpool Daily Post weighs in with an editorial on the occupation this morning:

Demos and counter-demos, ‘sit-ins’ and ‘sit-outs’.  So the latest epidemic of student protest finally infects Liverpool University and the outsider may be pardoned his bewilderment at the confusing developments over the past two or three days.

What is happening in our academic institutions is part of the same challenge to traditional authority that is taking place over the western world.

Much of it must arise from the greater possibilities all sections of the population enjoy in an increasingly affluent age to think about the purposes of society.

There is a contributory factor, too, in the unprecedented expansion in university education which has placed enormous strains on a long-established structure not designed for the age of mass democracy.

Amid the genuine protests, it is not difficult to detect a minority of students ready to capitalise on any grievance in the name of general disruption. They represent the real threat, not only to the university authorities, but to their fellow-students too.

University vice-chancellors are keenly aware that though the present situation must be remedied, intervention from outside could prove as big a threat to university freedom in the long run as the current trouble.

The public will not wait forever, though.  University administrators and moderate students must act wisely and quickly to set their own house in order.

Otherwise, however undesirable, the demand will arise that somebody else should do it for them.

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Author: Gerry

Retired college teacher living in Liverpool, UK.

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