A Wall Street Journal reader forwarded James Freeman a copy of the letter received by the reader’s daughter from Brown University Director of Admissions Logan Powell. The reader, Freeman reports, is still trying to make sense of the letter. The reader’s bright daughter had already received news of her acceptance when a letter arrived that was addressed to her “Parent/Guardian.”
Oddly, the note referred to the accepted student not as “she” but as “they.” Dean Powell’s letter also stated that our reader’s daughter had no doubt worked hard and made positive contributions to “their” school and community. Our reader reports that his perplexed family initially thought that Brown had made a word-processing error. That was before they listened to a voice mail message from the school congratulating his daughter and referring to her as “them.”
Surely you can guess the rest of the story. As a journalist, however, Freeman sought an explanation:
It turns out that the errors were intentional. Brown spokesman Brian Clark writes in an email that “our admission office typically refers to applicants either by first name or by using ‘they/their’ pronouns. While the grammatical construction may read as unfamiliar to some, it has been adopted by many newsrooms and other organizations as a gender-inclusive option.”
In one sense, this particular story has a happy ending. Freeman relates that the reader believes the school “wants to make it clear that only left wing extremists are welcome at Brown. Fine with us — good riddance.”
Like so many others inside the asylum of our elite educational institutions, the powers that be at Brown are out of “their” “minds.” The problem, however, is pervasive among these institutions. These institutions should not become “their” exclusive preserves. There has to be an answer.