Oklahoma Wesleyan University President Dr. Everett Piper: 'This is not a daycare'
A college president in Oklahoma is defiantly standing by his controversial view that today's students are too sensitive and too quick to play the victim card.
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Dr. Everett Piper, the president of Oklahoma Wesleyan University, posted a blog post on the school's website last week, saying college students expect too much coddling and declaring: "This is Not a Day Care. It's a University!"
The blog post gained attention in the wake of a growing number of students protesting racial discrimination and other issues on campuses across the country.
Piper wrote that he chose to share his frustrations publicly after a student, who has not been identified, complained about being "offended" by a sermon given at the Christian liberal arts college.
Piper said on a local radio program, "The Pat Campbell Show," that when he heard about the incident, he asked to see a copy of the sermon, thinking he might find something sarcastic or abrasive. In his opinion, the message was innocuous, Campbell said on the radio show.
Related: University of Missouri protests:
The sermon was on the Bible passage 1 Corinthians 13, which includes the verse "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud." The sermon was about love, Piper said.
"It appears that this young scholar felt offended because a homily on love made him feel bad for not showing love," Piper wrote in his post. "I'm not making this up. Our culture has actually taught our kids to be this self-absorbed and narcissistic."
The post, however, wasn't meant to be directed at the student who raised the issue, Piper told NBC News. "This is not a message to my students per se ... This is a message to the broader community."
Piper said he doesn't support "the shouting down of a contrary idea rather than a civil and polite exchange disagreement" because he believes respectful discourse is a foundation of academia.
"A liberal arts academy is about learning. It's not supposed to be a place to suppress controversial ideas," Piper said. My point was to challenge my own industry — to look my academic peers in the eye and say: 'We've caused this.'"
Piper, who has been the president of Oklahoma Wesleyan since 2002, said in his post that if students "want to be enabled rather than confronted, there are many universities across the land (in Missouri and elsewhere) that will give you exactly what you want, but Oklahoma Wesleyan isn't one of them."
The University of Missouri gained attention last month when racial tensions on campus that students felt weren't being addressed sparked protests and a hunger strike. The school's president, Tim Wolfe, resigned amid the turmoil, and the activism inspired student protests on campuses across the country, including Yale University and Ithaca College.
"This has nothing to do about race. This is about the arrogance and the narcissism of our culture," Piper said on "The Pat Campbell Show."
"Oklahoma Wesleyan is not a 'safe place,' but rather, a place to learn: to learn that life isn't about you, but about others," Piper wrote in his post, which he said has been viewed more than half a million times on the college's website since it was posted on Nov. 23.
Piper said some have disagreed with him, but parents of students at the school of 1,700 have been supportive, as have others who work in education.
"I've had ... faculty across the country say 'thank you, it was about time someone said this,'" Piper said.
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