comes to mind, in most instances the student code of conductrnbased on a standard of correct behavior surrendered to a standardrnof “correct” thinking.rnFor example, the Harvard Handbook for Students for 1996-97rnstates that all students are expected to “behave in a mature andrnresponsible manner.” But mature and responsible have less torndo with behavior today and more to do with a way of thinking.rnMost of the section on “conduct” deals with complaints of discrimination,rnharassment of several kinds—sexual, racial, gayrnand lesbian—and resolving differences.rnClearly, unwanted sexual behavior in colleges and universitiesrnshould be thwarted, but verbal suggestions in an environmentrnin which hormones are coruscating through adolescentrnbodies are not easily deterred. Similarly, a mere charge ofrndiscrimination is often sufficient to initiate a hearing or complaintrnprocedure whether or not the evidence justifies suchrninvestigation. Discrimination now exists in the eye of thernbeholder.rnWhile I could not locate one student handbook of the earlyrn60’s that made specific reference to homosexuals, almost everyrncontemporary student guide makes specific reference to thisrnsubgroup. The language invariably notes that principles of respectrnand toleration must be honored. Conspicuously absentrnfrom these declarations is respect or tolerance for orthodox religiousrngroups which do not countenance homosexual behavior.rnSeveral handbooks also assume that gay (the word “homosexual”rnrarely appears in these guidebooks) students have beenrnsubject to harassment by members of the student communityrneven though evidence is not in print to substantiate this claim.rnSeveral student codes indicate that students must be especiallyrncognizant of abuse leveled at lesbians and gays.rnImplicit in these statements is a belief that students enter thernuniversity with crude sexual stereotypes, racial antipathy, andrnan aversion to homosexuals, and that it is incumbent on universityrnofficials to change these assumptions. It is not coincidentalrnthat at several elite colleges students are obliged to engagernin an orientation session that deals primarily with studentrnprejudice and ways to overcome it. After observing these sessionsrnin which unwary students are obliged to admit harboringrnprejudicial feelings, several commentators have described thisrnpsychological intimidation as “reeducation.” One colleaguerndescribes colleges engaged in this training as “the University ofrnPeking in the United States.”rnCurrent orientation sessions involve another curious ideologicalrnentrapment. At such meetings 17-year-olds are often askedrnwhether they are sexually confused. If they answer affirmatively,rnmembers of the Mattachine Society or the Gay and LesbianrnAlliance are asked to counsel these students. The fact many 17-rnyear-olds are confused about their sexuality is no reason to believernthey are potential homosexuals. Yet legitimacy exists forrngays and lesbians to engage in active recruitment, notwithstandingrnthe general lack of any heterosexual counseling servicernon campus. It is also the case that since males can select theirrnroommates, homosexuals may live together even though heterosexualsrncannot. At some colleges recognition of this conditionrnhas led to separate dormitory floors being designated forrnhomosexuals only.rnFor a typical first-year student inexperienced in the ways ofrnthe world, this orientation to university life is jarring. If the universityrnmaintains the status of in loco parentis, then it is substitutingrnits own code of ideological adaptation for a traditionalrnparental code most students imbibed from childhood. Thernuniversity says implicitly, and increasingly explicitly, that everythingrnyou have learned about right and wrong must be relearnedrnusing the university’s ideological litmus test.rnAs one might suppose, confusion is often the result of thisrnculture clash. Several years ago, a young man residing in a universityrndorm told me the following story. A young woman withrna “crush” on him visited his dorm room late at night. She proceededrnto beseech him for sexual favors in a most direct way.rnThe young man, from a traditional home, was perplexed. If hernallowed himself to be seduced, he would violate his religiousrnconvictions; if he rejected this woman’s overtures, he feared beingrnmocked by his peers. Torn between tradition and peerrngroup pressure, he sought counsel.rnA psychology professor told him to do what feels best, letrnyour instinct be your guide. 1 said let your conscience be yourrnguide, which in the present scheme of things is a retrogradernpoint of view. In the end I do not know how this studentrnresolved his dilemma, but I do know he was distraught over thernincident.rnFor those students who assume religion is communal observance,rnthere are many problems on campus. Theme dorms (arneuphemism for ethnic or racial segregation) are countenancedrnon many campuses, but religious segregation is usually frownedrnon. The assumption is that religion is a matter of personalrninclination, while racial and ethnic affiliation are perforcerncommunal.rnIt is obvious that the early 60’s and the present are worldsrnapart. Rules based on civility and morality have retreated beforernan ideological steamroller. Students are now in the positionrnof having their thoughts manipulated and any traditionalistrnstance ridiculed. A so-called code of conduct is actually arncode of conformist thinking.rnAdmittedly, the era in the early 60’s demanded conformityrnas well. But this was the conformity of deportment, a way forrngentlemen and ladies to behave in polite and refined company.rnOf course even the mention of deportment has a quaint ring tornit. Now students and faculty members address one another byrntheir first names, use the “f” word routinely as an adjective forrneverything from tests to institutional food, and generally dressrnas if they are unmade beds.rnMuch has been lost in the last 25 years. Charles Eliot, thernerstwhile president of Harvard, once said, “The reason there isrnso much intelligence at the university is freshmen bring sornmuch in and as seniors take so little out.” Unfortunately, whatrnstudents bring in today is not what they take out. It is not merelyrnthe abandonment of deportment rules, albeit they are morernimportant than contemporary students assume, but the brainwashingrnin relativism, multiculturalism, and the critique of religionrnand tradition.rnThe university is still a surrogate parent, but not one whornworries about the emotional well-being of progeny. Rather thernuniversity is a self-designated revolutionary changing the rulesrnthat promote social order, while fostering confusion and underminingrna moral sensibility. It was not easy adjusting to life inrnthe academy several decades ago. Nevertheless, a student knewrnwhat was expected, was told how to behave, and recognized arnstandard of gentlemanly behavior. That world is now lost and,rnat least for me, lamented. In the interest of truth-in-advertising,rnmost universities should say to incoming students, “Welcomernto the brave new wodd where truth is relative, everythingrnyou’ve learned before must be forgotten, and sensitivity trainingrnawaits you.” <^rnSEPTEMBER 1997/27rnrnrn