Will UNC’s GOP trustees step away from cocktail parties, basketball tickets, campaign trail and actually stand up to campus’s leftist rabble?

Apparently, the iron-fisted leftist stranglehold on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus rages on. Apparently, the mostly Republican-appointed trustees are happy with the cocktail parties and basketball tickets and can’t be bothered.  Here are the details thus far:

My name is Harrington Shaw, and I am the president of the Student Free Speech Alliance at UNC-Chapel Hill. We are committed to protecting free expression, academic freedom, and viewpoint diversity at UNC. This mission requires a strong commitment to the principle of institutional neutrality and staunch opposition to viewpoint discrimination. Both of these values are enshrined in UNC policy and First Amendment case law. 

Thus, I was concerned when I learned that an event sponsored by UNC’s chapter of Turning Point USA featuring political commentator and author Candace Owens was denied for both CLE credit and event approval on Heel Life. It is no secret that Owens’ views are unpopular on college campuses, and considering that the hosting student organization was given no substantive explanation for the event’s denial, we are concerned that this action was taken in direct response to the viewpoints espoused by Owens or the sponsoring student organizations. We kindly request that you urge those responsible to reconsider these actions promptly, and we suggest that they consider next steps in accordance with the details below.

UNC’s adoption of the Kalven Committee Report binds the university to a standard of institutional neutrality. To quote the report, “neutrality as an institution has its complement in the fullest freedom for its faculty and students as individuals to participate in political action and social protest. It finds its complement, too, in the obligation of the university to provide a forum for the most searching and candid discussion of public issues.”
Similarly, UNC’s adoption of the Chicago Principles requires that the university protect free expression for all political viewpoints.According to the Chicago Principles, “the University’s fundamental commitment is to the principle that debate or deliberation may not be suppressed because the ideas put forth are thought by some or even by most members of the University community to be offensive, unwise, immoral, or wrong-headed. It is for the individual members of the University community, not for the University as an institution, to make those judgments for themselves, and to act on those judgments not by seeking to suppress speech, but by openly and vigorously contesting the ideas that they oppose. Indeed, fostering the ability of members of the University community to engage in such debate and deliberation in an effective and responsible manner is an essential part of the University’s educational mission.”

Additionally, the university is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of viewpoint, particularly with regard to student organizations.For example, the United States Supreme Court has held that universities cannot make student organization funding contingent upon viewpoint. Rosenberger v. Rectors of the University of Virginia (1995). In the same vein, UNC must not deny events or particular credit opportunities to student organizations because of their viewpoints or the viewpoints espoused at their events.

I have read Turning Point USA’s Heel Life event request and the TPUSA president’s appeal, and no element of the submission merits outright denial. Furthermore, the event clearly meets therequirementsnecessary to be granted approval for CLE credit. Satisfying one criterion, it “engages students with the work of a…thought leader” and someone “that most students would not be able to easily access outside of their UNC experience.” Satisfying a second criterion, it “transports the student beyond the role of passive listener” by inviting students to pose “questions and to challenge her ideas as part of a constructive dialogue.” It satisfies a third criterion in that it “challenges or supports students to reflect on or think critically about social, economic and/or political differences.” Notably, events only need to satisfy two of four criteria for CLE approval.

We fear that this event was denied for CLE precisely because offering attendees CLE credit generates high demand for events, and those responsible for approval disagree with the speaker’s viewpoint. As the event is scheduled to occur in only a few weeks, the delays caused by denial on Heel Life and for CLE credit are likely to have hampered the student organization’s execution of this event already, and the university’s decisions must be reevaluated immediately. […]
Will trustees Dave Boliek (state auditor) and Brad Briner (state treasurer) actually take time away from seeking new political jobs to actually do the jobs they already have? This is as good a time as any to demonstrate to the on-campus left WHY Republicans were put in charge in Raleigh.