March 20, 2017

What Gorsuch was like on campus

Daily Beast - Gorsuch’s own fraternity, Phi Gamma Delta—known more commonly as FIJI—welcomed him as a freshman in the spring of 1986 and he remained an active member until his early graduation in 1988. According to school newspaper reports and interviews with former Columbia students, FIJI’s reputation was unrivaled among Columbia’s 12 other fraternities at the time—defined by accusations of hard-partying, racism, sexism, and date rape. FIJI, as one former member claimed, was known as a house where the spiked punch flowed, and party tents known as “smut huts” were erected for one clear purpose.

... Along with a year of “leadership, athleticism, and community service,” the men of FIJI listed in the yearbook their other defining successes of 1988. Among them: drunken campus parties, alleged sexual prowess, and an unrivaled level of administrative discipline.

.... Andrea Miller a self-described “deeply involved campus activist” and former Spectator opinion-page editor who ran Gorsuch’s columns, says she remembers it as a nod to his passionate and constant support of Phi Gamma Delta.

Today, Miller calls Gorsuch’s columns “derogatory, dismissive, arrogant, and privileged,” but, she says, “it was incumbent upon me to make sure diverse voices were heard so we published them.”

When she heard President Trump had nominated Gorsuch to the high court, Miller says she thought, “Of course. With this president, it figures.”

In March 1987, Gorsuch [co-wrote] an opinion piece in The Federalist Paper, arguing the university’s co-ed and single-sex Greek offerings provided options for everyone, and calling the thinking behind the forced co-ed effort, “heavy-handed moralism.”

“We ought to ask if in fact we are anxious to let others decide for individuals what kind of lifestyle is acceptable and unacceptable on this campus,” they wrote.

... For Gorsuch, the issues that moved activists in his final year at Columbia—racial division, a university crackdown on protests, a student election scandal, and a fight for equality and safety for women and minorities at fraternities—were of little consequence. A bore, really.

“At the core of this spring’s demonstrations and rallies are causes that inspire no one and offer no fresh ideas or important notions for the students or school to consider,” Gorsuch wrote in a characteristically snide opinion column for the Spectator shortly before his graduation. “There simply is no burning ‘issue’ of spring, 1988. But don’t worry: there’s always next year.”

No comments: