The students who have turned their backs on Enlightenment

The students who have turned their backs on Enlightenment, by Brendan O’Neill.

[T]he days of student leaders ripping up rule books and flirting with libertinism are long gone. Today’s student leaders tend to be stiff, illiberal and vulnerable to an attack of hives at the mere mention of words like fun, freedom or sex. …

In Britain, student leaders have banned everything from Israeli representatives to lads’ mags to the wearing of sombreros (apparently that’s offensive to Latinos). …

Now student leaders at the University of Sydney have threatened to deregister a student society called the Evangelical Union on the basis that its requirement members believe in Jesus is discriminatory. …

Basically the union is saying: “You are not being inclusive, so we are going to stop including you.” …

Gay men’s saunas must be free to tell straight women to go somewhere else. If such groups are not allowed to say what is required of members, and to reject those who fail to live up to those requirements, then the whole [Enlightenment] ideal of freedom of association falls apart.