For whom the bells toll? Nobody. That is because UCSB, which has an annual budget of $760 million, can’t find $5,000 to maintain its Carillon studio, i.e., the 61 bells in Storke Tower that can be played like a piano.
Despite the fact that the campus spends $73 million per year on maintenance, UCSB claims it can’t afford to maintain the bells. So what to do? The university turned to crowd-sourcing. In other words, our UC system, with a $30 billion budget, is now officially a charity case.
Perhaps, the bells should go silent. This has to do with the quotes and dedications inscribed on the bells, which speaks volumes about how far the university has fallen. For instance, the largest bell carries the university seal and motto “Let there be light.” The truth is, the UC system now generates more heat than light, as it concerns freedom of thought, speech and assembly.
The University of California was fashioned to become an elite campus system that would one day rival the Ivy League, while the California State university system was created for the masses and the community college system was created for vocational education. The man credited with that vision was Clark Kerr, once the chancellor of UC Berkeley and the president of the UC system.
The Clark Kerr quote inscribed on one of the UCSB bells is very telling: “The University is not engaged in making ideas safe for students. It is engaged in making students safe for ideas.” Ah, for the good old days, when it was the job of universities to train students to think critically for themselves by way of exposing them to the full range of diverse, contradictory, competing and compelling ideas and arguments. Unfortunately, it is a different quote of Mr. Kerr that still rings true today: “The chancellor’s job is providing parking for the faculty, sex for the students, and athletics for the alumni.”
Today, UC professors are uniformly and exclusively liberal and progressive. Their goal is to propagandize the students. Conservative scholars need not apply because they will never be granted tenure. Moreover, campuses are now protected as safe spaces for snowflakes who can’t handle alternative viewpoints, even from guest speakers, lest they be inclined to riot. Finally, the UC system wastes tens of millions on progressive ideological campaigns, including support for programs that are antithetical to America’s greatest strengths, traditions and values.
The bells were also dedicated to “ring for the freedom of the press,” a tribute to the man most responsible for getting the tower built, former News-Press editor and publisher Thomas More Storke. Our founding fathers protected freedom of the press so that we could freely exchange ideas. This bulwark of liberty is now lost on our society, for in this day and age of political correctness on steroids, 69 percent of students in America believe their college should protect them from being offended by ideas they don’t agree with.
Andy Caldwell is the executive director of COLAB and host of The Andy Caldwell Show, weekdays from 3-5 p.m., on News-Press Radio AM 1290.