In this case, the CRs fought the university's campaign of "intolerance towards intolerance" by asserting that their First Amendment freedom of association trumped a set of university policies that the administration tried to force them to adopt. Specifically, they objected to a requirement that they abide by all university policies, because these policies ban discrimination on the basis of factors such as "political affiliation." In other words, the CRs actually wanted to limit membership to Republicans.Almost all of my readers understood that the university went too far in its efforts to control the student organization. There was, however, considerable disagreement over the cause of the university's unreasonable demands. While some saw it as predicated upon ignorance of the constitution, others saw it as a function of sheer malice. Since I wrote the article, I have encountered evidence to support both views.
Regarding the former view, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) just released a summary of the results of two surveys conducted by the Center for Survey Research and Analysis (CSRA). The data demonstrates that most college administrators are profoundly ignorant of the rights guaranteed by the First Amendment.
Of the 306 administrators from public and private colleges and universities across the nation, only 21% named "freedom of religion" when asked to name any First Amendment right. Only 6% knew that freedom of religion was the first right enumerated in the First Amendment. And, sadly, 11% could not name a single right guaranteed by the First Amendment.
New information also surfaced this week to support the assertion that malice accounts for the decision to ban the CRs from UNC-Wonderland. In fact, on the very day my article appeared, a student visited me, who is on the Student Organization Committee (SOC), the body that de-recognized the CRs.