The young genius who wrote Black Lives Matter 100 times for his Stanford application essay

Philip Greenspun's Weblog 2017-04-07

I’m kind of awed by the young genius described in “Student gets into Stanford after writing #BlackLivesMatter on application 100 times” (CNN). Can we think of a better example of someone able to get into the mind of a modern day university bureaucrat?

I wonder if genius will inspire imitators. What better way to assure a college that you’re not going to rock the groupthink boat than to clutter one’s application with references to “progressive activist” events? As there is no way to verify attendance, an applicant could play Xbox all through high school and fabricate an impressive resume of activism. Can the Stanford admissions officer question the statement “I went to the Boston Women’s March”? Impossible! Even if the officer happened to be in Boston and happened to attend the march, he or she could not know about everyone who attended. Telling details can be cribbed from media or Facebook reports. Why didn’t you get an A in Calculus? “I was too busy protesting Trump.” Why weren’t you elected president of any groups in your high school? “I was too busy knitting a pussy hat.”