Mike Adams

Dear George (georgeleef@popecenter.org):

First of all, I want to thank you and the Pope Center for Higher Education Policy for sponsoring my recent speech at Wake Forest University. I also want to apologize for wasting the students’ time by giving them some advice they really didn’t need. Please allow me to explain.

One of the points I emphasized in my speech was the need for College Republican groups to form coalitions with other political groups – groups that do not necessarily share their political views – to combat First Amendment abuses at colleges and universities in North Carolina. I didn’t know at the time that some students in the audience were already one step ahead of me.

After my speech at Wake Forest, I was handed a joint complaint written by the UNCG College Republicans and the UNCG College Libertarians, many of whom came from Greensboro to hear the speech. The complaint was inspired by the report released on January 10th, 2006 by the Pope Center for Higher Education Policy and the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education entitled “The State of the First Amendment in the University of North Carolina System.”

One of the criticisms of UNCG included in the report – under the heading “Nondiscrimination Policies” – reveals that at UNC Greensboro, all registered student organizations must include an “anti-discrimination statement” in their constitutions. That mandate reads as follows:

“The Anti-Discrimination statement must include that student organizations may not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, gender, age, national origin, disability, military, veteran status, political affiliation or sexual orientation.”

After reading your report, members of the College Libertarians and College Republicans recognized that their rights as political organizations are being circumvented by this patently unconstitutional policy.

It is clearly unreasonable to request political organizations to admit members of opposing political parties. To require them to do so would sabotage the level of political discourse on campus. Therefore, these two groups have asked UNCG to change this policy. They have asked that the anti-discrimination statement be altered to except political groups from the political affiliation portion of the statement and religious groups from the religion portion of the statement.

Mike Adams

Mike Adams is a criminology professor at the University of North Carolina Wilmington and author of Letters to a Young Progressive: How To Avoid Wasting Your Life Protesting Things You Don't Understand.