IN HIS 1951 book God and Man at Yale, the document that, to simplify only a little, launched the conservative movement, William F. Buckley, Jr. lamented what he later called “the phenomenon of the somnolent college trustee.” Looking back in 2007, Buckley concluded that little had changed in the intervening 56 years. “Mostly, the college establishment is regnant,” he wrote. “Trustees are expected to be affable creatures, preferably rich and generous. They are not expected to weigh in on college affairs, which are adequately handled by presidents, provosts, deans, and lesser administrative folk.”
Each semester, The American Spectator holds its college essay contest, an opportunity for undergraduates to show their writing skills and sound off on a pressing issue. Our most recent topic, “The pros and cons of binge drinking,” elicited this essay by an up-and-coming student from Hillsdale College.