Suspending Students Willy-Nilly

Lauren Cooley
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Posted: Apr 27, 2015 12:24 PM
Suspending Students Willy-Nilly

Earlier this month, a conservative student named Laura was suspended from Barry University for exposing her administration's sympathetic nature to ISIS. She’s a 4.0 honors student and was even awarded 'Most Outstanding Senior’ by the Communications Department the same day her expose was published.

The administration, obviously feeling embarrassed, retaliated by punishing Laura for alerting the community of their anti-American behavior. For the past three weeks, Laura’s graduation status has been in jeopardy.

Unfortunately, this type of retaliation towards conservative students happens every single year. It happened to me around this time last year, as I was about to graduate from Furman University.

My mistreatment didn’t stem from one particular incident. Rather, it was the culmination of consistently sticking up for conservative values and doing so even when it wasn't popular.

I was called a racist because I protested Rev. Jesse Jackson - the man who calls Jews, “hymie". I was called anti-poor because I advocated for private charity - forget that I serve at my church’s homeless ministry every month.

"Don’t be friends with Lauren Cooley,” professors taught my peers from the lectern.

“We won’t sponsor your club if Lauren Cooley is a part of your group,” my friends were told.

It was miserable, so I filed a Title IX harassment suit with the school. Days before graduating, I received the verdict from the Vice President: all of this was nothing more than 'academic conversation.'

That’s right. Making fun of me on social media, barring me from academic clubs, and threatening me with student court trials were all academic. This is the vicious nature of the Ivory Tower.

I was fortunate enough to graduate and escape this hostile abuse. And thankfully, due to extreme pressure from both national media and local activists, Laura will too. She was reinstated to Barry University earlier this week and will graduate with her classmates in May.

Now, while both Laura and my situations have been resolved, it is important that these stories be told. We’ve all heard of biased textbooks and free speech zones, but the day-to-day treatment of conservative students on campus is both far worse and often covered up.

No student should deal with brutal attacks from his or her own college. Unfortunately, that's the harsh reality courageous and outspoken conservative students deal with every year.