When I was an undergrad at Chapman University during the late 1990s, about the only radical actions on campus we had was protesting against Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas speaking at the dedication of the law library. Activism was limited to just the Black Student Union and MEChA clubs–and those faded away mostly as Chapman embarked on yet another mega-fundraising effort by President Jim Doti to wash away any liberalism and replace it with post-racial prosperity gospel goodness.
I'd still argue that activism at Chapman is nil, with a couple of true believer still lurking around. Or maybe I have to visit more often? What else can explain the awesome political art that was someone defacing a bunch of those creepy busts of neocon icons that lurk around the campus with caution tape and signs warning everyone about their racism, homophobia and other conservative goodness?
A Chapman student posted photos of the defaced busts of Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan, Ayn Ray, Milton Friedman, and–bizarrely–Albert Schweitzer to Reddit, per the conservative online publication Campus Reform. To the university's credit, they're not treating it as the hate crime conservatives are decrying it as, with Chapman spokesperson Mary Platt telling Campus Reform:
All Chapman University students and faculty are encouraged to speak their minds and express their personal opinions, both privately and in public forums, on any topics they wish. Sometimes those topics may not necessarily reflect the beliefs and viewpoints of the institution or its leaders, but the University strongly supports the right of free expression for members of our learning community and welcomes the opportunity to engage in respectful dialogue.
See all the defaced statues here. Hating on Thatcher, Reagan, Rand, and Friedman, I understand. But Schweitzer? The inspiration behind one of the greatest non-sequitor Simpsons lines ever? Those crazy college kids…