After two and a half years and nearly $40,000 spent on an “education” for our 20-year-old daughter at UCSB, I had enough of the negative influence of UCSB on her. After thoughts of suicide brought on by alcohol, drugs, and sexual and domestic violence inflicted against her by her boyfriend, our daughter finally realized the toxic nature of UCSB. She, my wife and I have collectively decided to withdraw her from UCSB.
I must admit, had the decision been solely mine, I would have pulled my daughter from UCSB after her first quarter. Sitting in on classes taught by a twenty-something, air-headed and disorganized teaching assistant didn’t bolster my confidence. And her first year in the dorms was barely a cut above “National Lampoon’s Animal House.” Any rules the university has about concepts like quiet study time were ignored by the students and the university, and suggestions to the university to enforce rules were met with scorn and cries of “intolerance.” It appeared that the overriding educational and civic lesson proffered by the university was “don’t rat on anyone.” Alcohol, drug abuse, violence, sexual abuse and even rape regularly go unreported. If you think I exaggerate, talk to a few local doctors.
Recently, my wife had the opportunity to sit in on a “leadership” meeting of my daughter’s sorority. The experience left her convinced that the UCSB experience — which likely parallels the entire UC system — was morally bankrupt. The sorority leaders talked openly about falsifying financial records and organizing illegal activities. Moreover, none had the slightest qualm about openly discussing such conduct. The only agenda was how to execute their plans without getting caught.
In the world of the UCSB ethos, drinking, drugs, lying, cheating, stealing, rape and promiscuity are not major problems. But incredibly, “ratting out” someone for conducting any of these illegal, immoral and dangerous acts is unthinkable to many UCSB students.
While much of the poor conduct was hidden from my wife and me, it was not hidden from students’ friends and associates on campus. When we asked the simple question of her fraternity and sorority friends, “Why didn’t you notify the police when you became aware of the domestic and sexual violence?”, their answers were alarmingly similar: “That could ruin his career.” The “don’t rat” policy prevails at all levels.
I often wonder where the Andrew Fastows, O.J. Simpsons and David Attiases come from. Why do we allow sociopaths to victimize our society and how did they become the way they are?
David Attias may be a classic case. For those of you unaware of Attias, he was the UCSB student who killed four people with his car in a murderous rage. Even a cursory review of the Attias trial testimony of the witnesses — many were UCSB students — reveals that these students not only knew of his alcohol and drug abuse, violence and abusive behavior for months before he killed four people, they tolerated it, and they never reported it.
Look statistically at the event: Attias is in a mental hospital and four other young people are dead -*- five lives destroyed. Toxicology reports after the event indicated that the perpetrator and two of his victims had drugs or alcohol in their systems. But no one intervened and, worse yet, no one even considered intervening, because they had all been indoctrinated with the UCSB unofficial motto: All behavior is equally acceptable because we each express ourselves in different ways — there is no right or wrong, just different choices.
While my daughter passed all her classes, it is likely that she has learned nothing of lasting value. I just hope that the delay hasn’t caused permanent damage to her.
Parents, be warned. Everything you will hear in the parent orientation at UCSB is sophistry. If you allow your children to attend UCSB, there is a very good chance that you are consigning them to a moral, ethical, emotional and educational cesspool.
James Baron is a resident of Saratoga, California.