Complaining about the leftist domination on college campuses isn’t a worthwhile activity unless one is also willing to take risks in order to do something about it. Thanks to some great students at UNCG, this column provides some good news for those who are sick and tired of hearing about problems on college campuses without hearing about solutions.
Many readers recall the cold February night – it will be exactly three years ago this week – when I drove to UNCG to give a speech on how college administrators try to suppress free speech in the name of “tolerance” and “diversity.” When I got there I learned that the Office of Student Life refused not only an honorarium for my speech but also money for a hotel room.
Before I prepared to give a speech and then drive back in the middle of the night, I sat down for a serious discussion with the College Republicans who invited me. When I asked the students why OSL refused the funding, they said – among other things – that the university had quoted a policy of refusing to fund “political” groups. (And, wouldn’t you know that the CR chapter was the only “political” group on campus at the time).
The problem with this policy was that the U.S. Supreme Court had stated four years previously that such categorical funding disqualifications were unconstitutional at a public university collecting mandatory fees from students. I learned that those same fees were used to fund a speech by a porn star just 24 hours before my arrival. (Note that they also said I was “too controversial,” despite my reluctance to talk about anal sex).
And the university – the one that dislikes “controversy” - was also using public funds to sponsor a “Gay Pride Week” with drag queen shows and events geared towards the promotion of the university’s official religion of moral relativism. Unsurprisingly, the university refused to let the CR chapter sponsor a “Morals Week” because, once again, that would give funding to a “political group.”
When the word got out about UNCG refusing to sponsor a conservative speaker’s talk the night after they sponsored a porn star’s talk – devoted almost solely to the topic of “safe sodomy” - the public was outraged. Some of the highlights of the fun that followed were:
• My appearance on MSNBC to debate the porn star.
• A federal investigation by the Department of Education over funding abuses in the UNC system, which was launched by a U.S. Congressman after learning of the incident.
• An admission by the university that they did, in fact, spend public funds on pornography. At first they lied and said they did not. That was before employees were caught storing mother-and-son incest films on the UNCG website.
But the most important outcome was that the students got angry and got pro bono assistance from attorneys who helped them demand public records on UNCG diversity expenditures. When the university realized they were on the verge of a lawsuit they relented.
And so “Morals Week” was initiated at UNCG in 2004. The first keynote speaker was Dr. Mike S. Adams who demanded that the university match the porn star’s fee of $3000. I had plenty enough money to buy a 30.06 and give two-thirds of the money (after taxes) back to the CR chapter to start a conservative paper.
Many of my readers already know that the first issue of the conservative paper focused on an OSL employee who was a convicted pedophile – readers remember the OSL as the office that likes to avoid controversy – helping to schedule student speakers and events. He was fired about 48 hours after the story about his criminal record was published.
When Morals Week 2005 rolled around I gave another speech – and, needless to say, bought another gun – to an audience that included a true First Amendment heroine named Allison Jaynes. As a libertarian, she was listening carefully to my speech about government control of free speech and how to fight it. Her target, later that year, would be UNCG’s now defunct “speech zone” policy.
In December of 2005, Allison and her UNCG Libertarian friends bravely and deliberately violated the policy that allowed free speech on just 1% of the Greensboro campus. Holding signs that said “UNCG Hates Free Speech” they stepped outside the zone and were ticketed by university authorities. In other words, the university responded by saying “You aren’t allowed to say we hate free speech!”
When the backlash against their reprimand became too much to bear in the court of public opinion, UNCG got rid of the policy. Like true revolutionaries the Libertarians asked “What can we do to piss them off next?” (I’m not kidding. They actually asked that).
In February of 2006, I would find the answer to that question when I was approached after a speech at Wake Forest University. The UNCG CR President was holding a letter, which was co-signed by the UNCG Libertarian President. They were threatening the university with a lawsuit unless they got rid of a policy, which prevented them from kicking people out of their group for not adhering to certain beliefs.
This idea that a group can discriminate on the basis of beliefs – yes, even when using public funds – was inspired by the NAACP practice of removing members of the KKK who, of course, believed in segregation. Apparently, the administration needed a threat of litigation to help them relinquish the KKK perspective on freedom of association.
Shortly after this third major policy victory, Morals Week 2006 was held. But there won’t be just one Morals Week in 2007. The College Republicans will be promoting Morals Week on twenty campuses this year. And it is due to nothing more than the sheer persistence and courage of a bunch of kids who refuse to be bullied by academic leftists – even those who have power over their academic future.
Put simply, Morals Week is spreading across North Carolina with greater speed and permanence than an outbreak of genital herpes. And the liberals are getting nervous because they can’t seem to find a cure.