Nick Barlow is absolutely right about the relative importance of student politics here. The short version - student politics rarely even seem relevant to students, let alone to wider society.
I'd add a bit of context by noting that outbursts of political silliness in academia in the USA have been exploited to build attacks on the Democratic Party since the late sixties at least*. For decades, hackish Republicans who have struggled to lay a glove on their opponents have successfully mined the campus for useful outrage.
Why would they do such a thing? Well, mainly because it's very difficult to imagine e.g. Jimmy Carter demanding that people sign pre-shag consent contracts, or to envision Bill Clinton denouncing a Japanese-themed club night for cultural appropriation**. Barack Obama probably doesn't much care whether arsey comments are "micro-aggressions" or not.
On the other hand, it's very, very easy to pick up any particular piece of well-intentioned PC knuckle-fuckery by a small gaggle of earnest twenty-year-olds at Berkely, and to then use it as an excuse to wail and scream about how this is incredibly revealing about The Totalitarian Mindset Of The Left, or whatever. Watch in awe, as we defend you from the threat of these pointy-headed traitors!
All of this is about keeping your own constituency riled up and furious - vote for our very sensible, level-headed candidates, or These People will get in, with their dictatorial culturally-appropriate speech-codes and what-have-you. It usually has very little to do with the actual topic under discussion.
And yet, for all these wails and screams, the world has continued to turn almost entirely unaffected. This is because student politics just aren't very important, and most of the people involved will sooner or later grow out of whatever faddish nonsense they were peddling when they were twenty.
If this wasn't the case - if student politics really does wield a major influence over society - then capitalism and war have done remarkably well to have survived this fifty-year academic onslaught unscathed.
You can see this playing out in America right now, where every cough and fart on campus is pounced upon as evidence of... whatever. And yet, while students may be a bunch of censorious privilege-checkers, a presidential candidate can still call the Mexicans rape-happy savages and be rewarded for it with rocketing poll numbers.
The same applies here, where student foolishness is frequently the subject of major social media outrage. I don't doubt that there are people who are genuinely concerned when some student union somewhere disinvites a perfectly reasonable speaker for Thought-Crime. I'm also sure that the various outbreaks of ideological mania can be very distressing for people caught up in them.
Nonetheless, I think the never-ending fury at the students from people who are usually decades older than them springs from the idea that, because a particular topic under discussion is very important, any statements about it from fourteen kids at the University of Barking-Twatbridge must be very important also.
Well, it usually isn't. Quite the opposite, in fact.
And, as in America, there are quite a lot of people in the UK currently using student politics as a useful stick with which to beat their actual political foes. Look, they say, isn't this campus nonsense incredibly revealing about The Totalitarian Mindset of the Left? Why, speaking as a sensible, level-headed person, watch as I strike a mighty blow for intellectual freedom etc. and so on.
It's just as much about keeping your constituency riled up and furious, as it is when the worst Republican hacks do it. Ultimately, the endless rounds of hysteria about campus shenanigans are best understood not as any kind of struggle for free enquiry, but as a sales pitch for a particularly belligerent form of politics.
Anyway. As I usually say when student controversies come up, it's always worth remembering that people who are old enough to know better, but still spend an inordinate amount of time fretting about student politics, are usually telling you far more about themselves than they are about student politics.
And yes, this almost certainly applies to me, as well.
*Rick Perlstein's recent work on Nixon and Reagan, particularly useful here for noting how for much of the decade, the main problem with the Vietnam War was not all the needlessly dead people, but the unpatriotic behaviour of all those bloody campus radicals.
**It's probably less difficult to imagine those events happening if the roles were reversed, mind.