The Sad State of Debate on University Campuses, Part MMMCDLXXVIII:

1. The Cal State Long Beach Daily 49er reports:

Ripped flyers hung off of the department of women’s studies door, . . . and derogatory statements written on those flyers . . . .

An “I Love Feminism” flyer posted on the office door had, “You should be ashamed of yourself” written below it. A flag poster also posted on the door had, “Liberalism is the path to socialism which is the path to communism. Be a good American and think Republican!” written on it. . . .

Other statements like “Support a Democratic Iraq” and “See beyond your ignorance” were written on other flyers posted on the office door. . . .

Gee, you eloquent young conservatives (I assume this is on-the-level vandalism, in part because I'd think that any hoax vandalism would be a titch more aggressive-sounding), any ideas on better ways — both more ethical and more persuasive ways — to express your views than defacing others' views?

2. But wait, it gets better: Here's a response, printed in the same newspaper:

Someone vandalized the women's studies department in the early morning hours of Nov. 15. One example was "You should be ashamed of yourself," written on a feminism poster.

To scribble on the posters of a department that stands for equal rights, free speech and ending discrimination on the basis of sex is misguided and hateful. In the attempt to voice their opinions, the vandals hoped to quiet an entire department. . . .

There are many sides to every argument, but by destroying the property of a liberal department to fill it with messages of freedom and democracy, it ultimately supports the utter removal of our right as citizens to disagree with one another. . . .

Unless you want to live a cookie-cutter, apathetic, lemming-like existence, grow some and spark a real debate instead of acting childish and using a blue Crayola marker to scribble your uninformed, useless hate speech on our posters.

OK, I'm with you on the destruction of property, but if "You should be ashamed of yourself" is "hate speech," haven't we defined "hate speech" down quite a bit? Also, why exactly should it matter whether the department stands for equal rights, free speech, and ending discrimination, or — as other departments do — for sound mathematical knowledge or for more reading of Shakespeare?

Yeah, I know it's just a college, and these are just college students. Still, I've been hoping for something a little better.