Monday, February 25, 2008

Antioch College is dead, thanks to its untrustworthy trustees. Is the wonderfully quirky town of Yellow Springs, Ohio, next?

Antioch College, founded in 1852, is now officially a goner.

I’m not going into the whole history of the collapse here because it makes my blood boil. Suffice it to say that the trustees, who allowed this once great institution to sink into decline for more than 25 years, decided to close it while keeping open a chain of far flung, second rate, essentially adult education schools bearing the Antioch name.

Killing the college
to protect trustee power

Alumni came up with millions to save the college. But the trustees were more interested in their own power than the survival of the institution. They finally declared the alumni were “too late.” Goodbye Antioch.

The town that won’t conform

Likeliest to suffer will be the town of Yellow Springs, Ohio, home of the now-dead liberal arts college. For years Yellow Springs has collected a population of interesting, quirky, individualists attracted by the college, which itself was a magnet for nonconformists.

You can tell this place is not normal
just by reading the local weekly newspaper

Without the college, Yellow Springs, too, is likely to decline into ordinariness while it loses its college-based economy. What was extraordinary about the Yellow Springs? Well, just consider these items, from classifieds to community announcements, appearing in this week’s Yellow Springs News:

The landlord’s not interested in your
credit history, just your attitude

ROOM TO RENT: opportunity to live cooperatively—lighten the load on Mother Earth, available now. Must be willing and able to communicate; have weekly house meetings; share upkeep of common space; accept and offer affirmations; practice acceptance of human differences regarding food, spirituality, age, race, gender, etc. Rent is $300, including utilities. Contact Laurie Dreamspinner, 767-9435.
Actually, in Yellow Springs
the moon is always full

The Grandmother Drum Healing Circle will celebrate the sacredness of the full moon with meditation, drummers, dancers and friends, Saturday, Feb. 23, 6–9 p.m., at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship meetinghouse, on U.S. 68 just south of Yellow Springs.

Participants are asked to wear appropriate clothing for outdoors and bring the following: a drum or musical instrument to share; a friendly voice to sing or recite; finger foods and non-alcoholic drinks to share; and thoughts or insights to share. For further information, call Grandmother Wolfheart, 767-9331 or e-mail: mkoebernic@aol.com.
Holy holism, Bat Man!
Local holistic health and wellness practitioners are invited to participate in a focus group exploring the role of local holistic practitioners in marketing the whole village as a health and wellness resource at Antioch McGregor, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Friday, Feb. 22, Monday, Feb. 25 or Wednesday, Feb. 27.
Become sacred. No experience necessary!
Lynnell Lewis, of Richmond, Ind., having returned from six months in India, will lead an evening of sacred chanting Saturday, Feb. 23, 7 p.m., at the Yellow Springs Dharma Center. With Indian tambura accompaniment, she will teach chants from all Buddhist traditions, as well as Vedanta, Sufi, Christian and African. No experience is necessary and everyone is invited to this free event. For more information, call Ken at 767-1022.
Happy Ayyam-i-Ha to you. Happy
Ayyam-i-Ha to you. Happy...oh, nevermind!
The Rays of the Sun children’s class will host their annual Ayyam-i-Ha party. The program, to be held Saturday, Feb. 23, 1:30–4:30 p.m., at the First Presbyterian Church, Westminster Hall, will include music, singing, dancing and cooperative games. All are welcome at no charge. For more information, call Linden Qualls at 937-767-7079.

Just because it's a totally private party
doesn't mean that the whole world isn't invited.
CONNIE CROCKETT’S CAMPAIGN for State Representative will celebrate St._Patrick's with a beer and wine tasting at The Emporium in downtown_Yellow Springs on Saturday, March 15, from 7:30 until 9:30 p.m. This is a_private party to which you are invited. Live local music, fun and_refreshments provided. $10 minimum asked at the door. Donations to_Crockett4Ohio are fully TAX DEDUCTIBLE for state residents up to $50_per individual, $100 per couple. Join us for a givin' of the green_ and help us elect Connie!
Hydrogen?...Check! Oxygen?...Check! Lithium?...Check!
Okay! Now, let’s play spin-the-bottle!
Elemental Circle meeting, 1:30 p.m., UUF meetinghouse.
Honestly, it's not a secret Huckabee society.
Course in Miracles, 9 a.m., Friends Care Assisted Living
Yes, but in this town can you be odd enough?
ARE YOU A PERSON of good moral character? Do you believe in friendship, love and truth?Are you ready to give back to the community? Are you ready for some fellowship? Then join the Independent Order of Odd Fellows in Yellow Springs. 937-266-6351 or 937-450-6675.

5 comments:

JafaBrit's Art said...

We have such a strong art community here and such a fun interesting village that I think we will still attract quirky people, just not on the same scale. Depends if those quirky people can get a local job too.

Still it is very very disheartening to see how this has progressed and it is a terrible loss :(

Derk said...

Dont they teach evolution at Antioch? Sounds like natural selection to me:

http://www.dirckthenoorman.com/?p=517

Robert said...

The college was poorly managed. The true Antiochian thing to do would have been to reach out to the rest of the community for support and organizing. Yet supporters decided instead to scapegoat the other campuses - adolescent. A lost opportunity.

New York Crank said...

Robert, I have absolutely no idea what in the name of Horace Mann you're talking about.

"Reach out to the rest of the community for support and organizing?" The rest of the community is what decided to close Antioch. And yes, management was most certainly poor. The trustees and university management organized Antioch College into failure over a period of three decades. It was the same management that was managing everything else under the Antioch University umbrella.

The alums raised $8 million – not much for some colleges, but a veritable fortune by Antioch standards – and did it in a heartbeat. The reaction of the trustees was to in effect tell them to go screw themselves and to close the college.

I suspect you were smoking loco weed before you sent in your comment, Robert. That also would be very Antiochian, but not much help. And it most certainly would explain your fuzzy logic.

Yours very crankily,
The New York Crank

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