You wonder why Aggies ruthlessly poke fun at UT?

Because of things like this:

Students protesting proposed budget reductions for ethnic studies at the University of Texas waved signs, chanted slogans, delivered speeches and marched into two campus buildings Wednesday.

…Jerome Bump, an English professor, said he was surprised when a college faculty panel recommended cuts for African American and Mexican American studies. He noted that the administration has pushed to increase diversity in student, faculty and staff ranks in recent years, and he said the budget proposals undercut that commitment.

Kaye Crawford, a senior majoring in African studies, agreed. “If you are recruiting these students and then you tell them that their heritage and the teaching of that heritage is not important, it sends all of us a mixed message,” Crawford said.

And Jesus wept. BITTER tears. Presumably those mooks expect the science, math and engineering departments to take the brunt of the cuts to spare their fragile egos. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that the mentality of liberal arts studies’ advocates as embodied in statements like those of Jerome Bump and Kaye Crawford are the No. 1 reason that liberal arts studies have such a bad reputation among conservatives. Personally, I don’t have a problem with liberal arts studies, but only to the extent that schools aren’t pissing away money on feel-good bullshit like gender and ethnic studies.

And it IS feel-good bullshit. You will note that neither Ms. Crawford nor Mr. (Dr.?) Bump offered a single substantive reason for their discontent. Both of them offered reasoning that ultimately boils down to “it makes me feel bad that they’re doing this.” And there’s a reason for that: such fields of study are good for little more than careers in the academic field. The only defenses of the fields I have seen boil down to exactly that — “Gender and Women’s Studies trains students in critical reading and writing, argument formation, theory, research, personal and political exploration, diversity and cultural competency, interdisciplinary knowledge, and professionalism, many of which are components of other humanities.” (source) Funny, I got a degree in communication (with an emphasis in journalism), and I got immersed in all of that too. I read this story, and that link to Feministing, and it made me think of this quote from Breda’s Mike:

“I can understand how people who grew up never finding out there is no Santa Claus or Tooth Fairy can end up in a place where political fantasies seem real, but my question is, ‘In what universe does your womyns studies-underwater basket weaving degree, belief that stones have souls and conviction that mathematics is a tool of patriarchal oppression suit you to being anything but the floor mopper for the green, glorious, high tech industries run by all those Indian, Chinese, and Korean kids who have been grinding down on calculus, science, and engineering since grade school?'”

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3 Responses to “You wonder why Aggies ruthlessly poke fun at UT?”

  1. BL Says:

    I finished womyn’s studies and HR management as independent studies for asking the Catholic student mad about not being allowed to start a les group at her church if she ever read Leviticus and stating that I wouldn’t hire a transvestite to do anything involving MY business dealings, respectively…that was long ago as in multiple decades. Reckon modern schools woul lynch boomer lad on sight.

  2. Albatross Says:

    I actually was a liberal arts major, but I also understand that arts programs are not (and shouldn’t be) sacred cows, especially hyper-specialized degree programs. A lot of art and music is crap, and just saying you like it is not reason enough to ask the state to fund education programs teaching it.

    That having been said, I must throw out a bit of a correction. Aggies don’t ruthlessly poke fun at UT because of this hippie tripe. They do it because it’s one of their creepy traditions.

    Whoop that, Aggies!

    [Full disclosure: I am a product of the UT system, and I have many Aggie friends that shake their head at me. :-D]

  3. southtexaspistolero Says:

    Well, that was facetious more than anything else. Heh. And Imma let your being a product of the UT system slide ’cause of your bitchin’ musical tastes. 😉 I was a communication major, like I said, but if any programs are going to get priority it should be the ones involving the maths & sciences.

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