Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Open Letter: Hillsdale Student Exposes How “Conservative” College Leadership is Assisting Gretchen Whitmer’s Tyrannical Agenda

Hillsdale College

This is a guest post from a senior enrolled at Hillsdale College, Michigan.

Hillsdale College is refusing to fight Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s recent edict prohibiting all in-person education, and has just agreed to go completely online. But don’t be fooled. Many in the college who could refuse to obey this unconstitutional edict see it as an opportunity to finish what they started long ago at the beginning of the Covid outbreak: completely converting Hillsdale over to online instruction. How do I know this? I am a senior student at Hillsdale College. It is, I believe, the best college in the country today. At least it used to be.

When most other colleges chose to continue online education in the fall, President Larry Arnn promised that Hillsdale College would hold in-person classes to continue its commitment to the liberal arts: “We have been doing it for 175 years. We are going to keep doing it. And of course in the 175 years there have been many obstacles. The Civil War … and the Great Depression.”

All students know that with Covid-19 restrictions, education has become a boring, uninspiring, dismal experience. Realizing this, Arnn even apologized to graduating seniors in June for shutting down last spring semester. His defiant stance led to a record number of transfer applicants for the spring semester. Students would rather attend anywhere than take Zoom classes. 

What the Civil War and Great Depression could not do has been accomplished by some low-level bureaucrats in the administration. In many ways Hillsdale College is like our nation, where unaccountable careerists make all of the important decisions, and congenitally weak leadership officials going all the way to the top cave into these demands despite fundraising handsomely on an image of a brave conservative institution standing up to big government.

When I was registering for classes, I knew that some professors were only teaching online courses, while others taught in-person classes. I signed up for one Zoom class and the rest in-person. At the beginning, I experienced Hillsdale College at its best: brilliant professors, lively discussions in class and during office hours. Hillsdale students have traditionally taken great joy in being set apart, studying a core curriculum in the great Western texts. But what started out as a great semester became a nightmare for hundreds of students when the Health and Wellness Center decided to begin testing, contract-tracing, and quarantining students. Neither my friends nor I knew the college would do this when we arrived on campus. And now we feel like we have been defrauded.

The director of the Wellness Center has a degree in counseling but is no medical expert. He is also a Covid-19 hysteric, and he began to implement a rigid contact-tracing policy. The college administration complied, and the deans eagerly enforced it. Students were accused, anonymously, of having come into contact with someone who might have Covid-19, and without any chance to see who had made the claim or to dispute it, they were told that they must either quarantine for two weeks or go home. Students who tested positive were forced to give more names when their lists were “too short.”

I heard of one student who reported 50 names. Another was contact traced and quarantined, even though he was sitting more than ten feet away, wearing a mask, in class. What had been a trickle of missing students became a flood — I would guess 400 out of a total 1,400 students. The college consistently underreported the true number of students in quarantine. One of my friends’ classes went from almost 30 students down to 5 students in one week. Students are confined off-campus, some in nice and others in not-so-nice rooms, where they sleep, eat, and watch Zoom classes.

The quarantine rules, as well as the professors’ policy about online classes, are inconsistent and confused. Students concerned about Covid are given options and have all their needs met. Those wanting in-person classes are left out to dry. The deans, when contact-traced, refused to quarantine. One, after sending us a video on Friday telling us to wear masks and social distance, showed up at the gym on Monday morning without a mask.

Read the rest here.


  1. What's the point about proudly and loudly proclaiming (as Hillsdale does) that you don't take any government money if you just act like you did?

    1. It's probably the same virtue signaling high that people get from saying how not racist they are.

  2. Paging George Orwell and Franz Kafka...