Absurdity or Justified to Offer College Credit on Occupy Wall Street?

Columbia University recently announced they will be offering a college credit course on ‘Occupy Wall Street’ through their anthropology department according to Annie Karni at New York Post .

Is this absurdity or is it justified for an Ivy League college to offer college credit on a course that is considered highly controversial?

Karni reports the class will be taught by Dr. Hannah Appel, who openly admits supporting the movement on her blog, but claims she will take an objective approach. Karni also informs her readers that the class will involve “30 students [and] will be expected to get involved in ongoing OWS projects outside the classroom.” Appel claims she does not see any “foreseeable” safety risks toward her students during the field work portion of the class.

I wonder what Appel’s definition of objective truly is?

Perhaps the better question to ask, rather than if it is absurdity or justified, is this Appel’s 15 minutes claim to fame and a push to advertise Columbia’s versatility in offering ‘hip’ and ‘youthful’ college credit courses? Does Columbia really need this sort of advertisement? Will this course spin positively overall for Appel or Columbia? Will this encourage Columbia’s donors to whip out their checkbooks and write extra donation checks? Or better yet, will these donors demand a specially created scholarship for this specific class?

A college credit course could observe the ‘Occupy Wall Street’ movement as a portion of a class that is offered, but to make it a whole semester? Are there any real known truths within this movement? A movement that has destroyed local businesses, destroyed property, caused injuries, used large amounts in resources, and worst of all raping of young women – do they have any truths to be reported that the occupying of public property is warranted?

I supposed there are going to be many academic thesis and scholarship written on this for publishing. And of course whatever scholarship is written on it will apparently become gospel high-literature?

It surprises me that the university is willing to risk the safety of their students. Naysayers can preach students are adults and can make their own choices – true. However, if any injuries do occur are parents not going to complain?

More importantly, how is this class going to contribute the needed tools a graduating college student will need in finding employment after school? I am sure any employer will be thrilled to see this particular class on a resume, unless of course the student applies within academia.

The overall concern, in my own opinion, is not the movement itself but the violence and destruction that has occurred. This certainly is not the kind of protesting that many protestors of the 60 and 70s did against nuclear bomb testing. The protests were done by having a nonviolent presence. Large nonviolent protests got the message across to political figures who wanted to remain in office. I believe the fact that there has been so much violence and damage done within ‘Occupy Wall Street’ that the majority of people simply cannot approve of what they are doing on these grounds alone.

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