Free speech in its death throes in Chapel Hill

uncchI worked on Capitol Hill for the late Senator Jesse Helms during his early-90s campaign to defund The National Endowment For The Arts.  Leftists lashed out at him claiming that cutting off government funding to these “artists’ was equivalent to stomping out their First Amendment freedoms.  ( Senator Helms has passed through the pearly gates, but the NEA is STILL with us.)

Well, here we are in 2013 and those arguments to preserve The National Endowment For The Arts appear to be long forgotten by the Left.  They’re inconvenient in environments where THEY are in charge — like our university campuses.

For some time, UNC-Chapel Hill has been a hotbed for leftist kookery.  It must be tough to be a College Republican in “Blue Heaven.”  The same campus that beat down the anti-communist Speaker Ban of the 1960s is now beating down efforts to bring to town ANY kind of conservative-leaning speaker.  Carolina’s student government has officially slashed the College Republicans’ speaker budget by 75 percent — ignoring passionate, vehement protests from CR activists.  Check out this piece of wisdom from one young skull of mush serving in the UNC student government:

“I have trouble believing that because there’s this aura of liberalism on campus, we owe conservative groups,” he said.

Wow.  Just, just … wow. 

The College Republicans have thrown in their two cents on the kerfluffle:

Despite what some students have claimed, UNC Student Congress has a deep and long history of blatant bias against the College Republicans and conservative ideals on campus. In the past four years, there have been numerous attempts to condemn and silence such beliefs.

The rocky history with Student Congress began back in the fall of 2011. The then board of the College Republicans requested a large sum of $15,000 in order to bring Ann Coulter. Student Congress refused to fund her and offered instead to give the College Republicans $5,000 and make the College Republicans raise the additional $10,000. Some alumni who were on the board, on conditions of anonymity, have claimed that cut occurred “based on her views” and recall her views being “the focal point of the debate.” This is a direct violation of the Student Code. All the while, approving funding for MSBNC anchor Richard Wolffe sponsored by the Young Democrats, while the university’s official lecture series during that academic year sponsored John Kerry,  David Simon, and Kevin Phillips. During that year, another left-leaning group had Robert Gibbs come give a speech. The College Republicans attempted to raise the $10,000 but it could not reach the required amount in the designated time. Coulter never came to campus.

I don’t blame Coulter for not showing up.  It would take a lot of money for me to show up on that campus and endure stuff like THIS and THIS during my speech.  MORE:

[…]

The next board had just as much success. In the fall of 2012, the College Republicans requested $25,000 but received $12,500 to host a debate between John Stossel and former DNC Chair Howard Dean. The two men were asked to debate the role of government in a free society. The College Republicans were granted the allocation and brought the event to campus. The event was wildly successful as well. The event was held in the Great Hall of the Student Union where over 500 chairs had been placed. Despite that, there were people still trying to enter and many were standing in the wings.

[…]  The Student Code specifically states that a number of things should be accounted for when allocating funding, including the number of people the event is supposed to attract, the number of events and people involved in the past, and the educational value towards the community. Based upon this and also considering the College Republicans outstanding successes in the past, it’s impossible to find any justification in the cuts Finance Committee made.

[CR] Chair and Congress member Peter McClelland summed up the sentiments of the fight, “the College Republicans have a history of successes that goes back many years, despite Student Congress’s continued assaults against conservative groups.” He continued, “My board and I stand united against accepting any half-hearted measure meant to save face rather than address the systemic and historical bias that has harmed conservative and Right-Leaning groups.” He finished by exclaiming, “From Coulter on down we have seen Congress’s animosity towards the College Republicans and similar groups, and we are not backing down.”

After reading this, I decided to look at UNC’s non-discrimination statement:

The University’s Policy on Prohibited Harassment, Including Sexual Misconduct, and Discrimination (www.unc.edu/campus/policies/harassanddiscrim.pdf) prohibits discrimination or harassment on the basis of an individual’s race, color, gender, national origin, age, religion, creed, genetic information, disability, veteran’s status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.

Genetic information? Gender Expression?  It sounds like “political ideology” and “political party registration” need to be added to that long list governing behavior at this alleged hotbed of tolerance and free speech.

1 thought on “Free speech in its death throes in Chapel Hill

  1. It would be interesting to see if the College democrats had their funding slashed by the same amount, and if the “official speaker series” had it’s funds for the liberals to speak slashed as well. My hunch is no, but there could be hope that they had a similar decrease in funding.

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