OPINION: Student Hysterics Over The Koch Brothers Are Out Of Line

Zach Petrizzo | Higher Education Reporter, The College Fix

Time for the banter to end. A select group of students at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, seemingly don’t understand that the Koch Brothers have not done anything wrong but have merely given their hard-earned millions away to benefit hundreds of thousands of students.

Yet for some reason, there is a club of students — 20 at the most — who have taken it upon themselves to march around campus while yelling and screaming, “UnKoch My Campus.”

Their politically motivated theater production at the university, with a population of over 40,000 students, has seemingly always found itself onto the cover of the student paper and a topic of national conversation time and time again with little-needed reason to do so.

“Transparent GMU” with the parent organization, “UnKoch My Campus” is always grandstanding and seeking to draw attention to themselves in any way necessary to signal to the rest of the campus how socially aware and “just” humans they believe themselves to be.

About a year ago, they started a petition that only has about 800 signatures as of now. More recently, they decided to send an open letter to GMU President Cabrera calling for more transparency of donor records, in part stating that, “Without students, there is no George Mason University. This is an institution intended for education, not corruption.”

Giving away your own money is not corruption. Should one ask George Soros what he thinks?

The majority of students at Mason would probably not walk away from the institution because of Koch’s ties and generous giving. Ten students at the very most then decided to enter the president’s office to read the letter aloud. More grandstanding…

The very same student organization, on Oct. 25, 2018, decided to walk around campus and yell, “Education is a right, so we are going to fight, fight, fight.” While making it clear that other opinions aren’t welcomed.

The education students are receiving with world-class faculty and facilities at record low in-state tuition rates are in many parts due to the generosity of the Koch Brothers, so my advice to the student group would be to come up with a different chant. Maybe: “Thanks! Thanks! Thanks, Koch Family.”

While I respect their right to freedom of speech, it is not democracy if 0.05 percent (20 protesters of 40,000 students) of the student body calling to “UnKoch” the university wins.

The leadership at George Mason should continue to stand up to the coalition of leftist organizations that look to eliminate opportunity for countless students, one being myself.

The Koch Brothers are not the villains in which some students are making them out to be but rather champions for higher education, which we desperately need at George Mason. From the humble and generous giving over $50 million, Mason has made strides to become the top public university in the state.

The nationally ranked four-year school has brought on world-class faculty members, built facilities and a curriculum to rival academia’s most prestigious law schools, invested in the well-known Mercatus Center, and given university advancement millions, which takes a huge burden off of taxpayers and students who are struggling to pay off their tuition.

Be grateful because without many of their charitable gifts your tuition would rise, new buildings would not be going up and there would be less opportunity for students at George Mason University.

To the Koch Family, I say thank you for your commitment to higher education and continued investment in the very future of millions of universities students across the nation.

To the “Transparent GMU” protesters at George Mason, I say learn how to be grateful & create a new chant.

Zachary Petrizzo is currently an intern at The American Conservative Union, higher education reporter for The College Fix, and a sophomore at George Mason University.


The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.

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