While the VPR editors range from centrist to progressive, we all share a few intrinsic values. We stand against most politically motivated violence. We spurn all those who use their power or platforms to lie and take advantage of their followers for personal gain. Finally, we prize intellectual, logical, and fact-based argumentation over any ideology. That said, we would be expected to roundly condemn the “Vassar College Disorientation Guide,” a 50-page anarcho-Marxist manifesto handed out to first-year students as an alternative to Vassar’s official orientation. But you know what? They made some very intellectual and not-at-all-hypocritical points in their calls for liberation that we wish to highlight.
The unknown authors of this guide are clearly valiant, far-left activists working day in and day out to keep students safe, just as progressive groups on campus like H2A have purported to do as well. Their peaceful message is just what this campus needs. One particularly amicable passage from their text was the suggestion that, in order to “create a culture of dissonance,” students should “steal the plants from [alumni] events,” or “ding dong ditch” College President Elizabeth Bradley, or even just “slap a Zionist”. Inspirational. The writers, of course, remained anonymous. It’s fair to assume this is because they wanted the ideals, and not the people behind them, to lead the movement. We’re sure it had nothing to do with a fear of disciplinary action–which they are now faced with–or legitimate criticism from their peers; these are truly selfless actors we’re dealing with.
Don’t forget all the graphic messaging as well. The moment we saw photos of campus buildings and safety and security vehicles being set ablaze, we immediately felt safer. When they encouraged students to “make [the Bridge building] crumble faster,” it was, we’re sure, an innocent metaphor about making the establishment crumble and not a literal threat to destroy a campus building and endanger the lives of students. As we all know, passionate, fanatical activists are notoriously nonviolent. Finally, the depiction of President Bradley as Jesus at the last supper probably had nothing to do with the fact that Jesus was killed shortly after that particular event. These authors would never delve into such violent narratives just to get their points across, as we have made clear.
The authors of this glorious scripture have also shown that they are truly in this for our liberation. The key to that, of course, is reverting Vassar College back into an all-women’s school. They referred to the decision by Vassar to become co-educational as “ruining the only thing it had going for it”. Now, reversing that decision would displace the more than 1,000 male students at Vassar. However, forced removal of 45% of the student body is the only way Vassar can truly cast off its oppressors! While some may call such plans authoritarian, any suggestion that these mighty activists actually resemble the oppressive regime they claim to oppose is rubbish.
Don’t forget, fellow freedom fighters, that once you are unshackled and ready to finally experience Vassar College as it should be–a Marxist utopia–you will no longer have your voices suppressed, and your beliefs called “radical” and immediately dismissed. Unless you believe that Israel should exist. Or you believe that capitalism isn’t a system of pure evil. Or you believe that schools should spend money on up-to-date science buildings. Or you think that school administrators just might know what they’re doing. Or you’re under the impression that Poughkeepsie is unsafe based on all those phoney baloney crime statistics that say Poughkeepsie actually has twice as many violent crimes per capita as the state or the country. The unknown Disorientation authors’ casual, unsourced claims that “Poughkeepsie is fine” and “the threat of anything happening to you in Poughkeepsie is virtually zero,” despite numerous examples of violent crimes in Poughkeepsie and even on campus, are good enough for you, as are the dozens of other unsourced and uncited proclamations in this document.
Having read Disorientation, we are now convinced that there is no longer a need for a free-flowing political discourse at Vassar. After all, our hard-left champions are always working in our best interests. One need look no further than when they whipped the campus into chaos last year after making false claims about a conservative, Jewish law professor being a white supremacist and bringing neo-nazis to campus. We were also assured that the VSA would repeat their successes from the Jacobson affair–when they propped up the false claims of H2A in a campus-wide email–by holding a “discussion” on the guide. That discussion went remarkably well, giving a platform for people to double down on and defend calls for violence against Zionists espoused by the guide. Bravo!
Now, to be sure, we have a couple criticisms of this otherwise immaculate document. For instance, professor Laymon’s moving think piece about police brutality against black bodies and allegations of rape against a Vassar professor both feel misplaced. They are substantive pieces focusing on problems that should not be dismissed or diminished, making them needless deviations from the crucial mission of this document: to direct unnecessarily violent and anti-semitic vitriol at our classmates, teachers, and administrators under the guise of subversiveness. If hard-left activists started getting serious and talking only about important issues in a peaceable, rational way, instead of simply casting everyone outside their body-politic as evil and threatening violence upon them, they might actually accomplish some of their goals and make the world a better place. Who the hell wants that?
We certainly do not. That is why we stand with these self-described “VC brewers hellbent on nothing but destruction,” and their mission statement: “as our hearts burn with desire for a better world, so must our campuses.” We strongly agree that the only way to create a better world is to burn down our school. Though their words might strike some as the fanatical cries of a comic book villain, we recognize their true moral intentions. That’s why we’ve been reoriented.
Editorials represent the majority opinion of The Vassar Political Review’s editorial board.