Light in August

Posted: Aug 01, 2005 12:00 AM

I write a lot of articles criticizing my administration for a simple reason: they deserve it. Our administrators make a lot of bad decisions, too many of which are born of unmitigated ideological bigotry. But, occasionally, you have to praise them for making a good decision. I just wish moments like this would come more often.

On August 18th, when classes resume at UNC-Wilmington, Susan Bullers, an Associate Professor of Sociology, will begin her duties as the new Director of our university?s Women?s Resource Center (WRC). This will mark the end of a four-year reign of ideological terror, which has crippled the WRC since it was established in 2001.

During the last four years, it is difficult to decide which WRC incident (often discussed in my weekly column) was the greatest source of embarrassment for the university or which provided the greatest evidence of feminist fanaticism run amok.

  • Maybe it was the time the WRC decided to hang cartoon pictures of Condoleezza Rice (featured standing in a cage holding a bunch of bananas) all over the university library. The feminists who produced the picture claimed to be opponents of racism.
  • Or maybe it was the time the WRC decided to hang cartoon pictures of a woman kicking a man in the face while hurling obscenities (including the f-word).
  • Perhaps it was the time they advertised the Vagina Monologues with a large sign featuring the p-word displayed right in front of the university cafeteria. The sign was in full view of parents and their small children.
  • Of course, the most distasteful WRC ad could have been the flashing ?vagina? sign positioned right in front of the university and directly across from the Greek Orthodox Church.
  • And, let?s not forget the anonymous feminists who dressed as apes and threw bananas at a UNCW audience in 2004. They were hired by the WRC for $6000.
  • And how about the time the WRC website posted a link to a ?Jesus on a Rainbow? essay after refusing to post a Crisis Pregnancy Center link because the organization was ?explicitly Christian.?
  • Then there were those vagina-shaped lollipops sold by the Women?s Center on campus.
  • And, before we move on, let?s not forget the queer Muslim speaker and the ?How Bush?s Attack on the International Family Hurts Us All? speech funded by the mostly Bush-supporting Christian heterosexual taxpayers of North Carolina.

I mention all of these embarrassing episodes for a reason: I think Susan Bullers is far too smart, too reasonable, and too level-headed to allow WRC facilities and funds to be abused like this in the future.

This is not to say that Bullers is some sort of a conservative or even a moderate. I consider her to be a liberal (and know she is a Democrat). But she is well-qualified to hold an administrative position in the diversity movement by virtue of the fact that she is not an extremist. That is, of course, good news.  Reasonable people know that where extremists rule, there can be no diversity of ideas.

And that is why the diversity movement should be handed over to people more like Bullers and less like her WRC predecessors. Some examples follow:

  • There is Associate Professor David Weber in communications, who actually organized a high-profile campus debate between a liberal and a conservative last year.
  • There is also Professor Don Habibi (philosophy), who is so fair and balanced in class that students constantly argue about his true political orientation. He keeps them guessing at all times.
  • And, finally, there is Assistant Professor Anita McDaniel, a liberal who teaches African American Studies and Communications, who actually seeks out people with different ideas to provide them with moral support when they have been targets of censorship.

None of the professors I just mentioned are conservative Republicans, but all have unique qualities and can play an important role in restoring dignity to our university in a time of unprecedented constitutional chaos.

Maybe some leftists who read this article will finally understand what the booming campus conservative movement is all about. We are not demanding affirmative-action style quotas for Republicans. We don?t want to start firing extreme leftist professors. We don?t want to ban fanatics like Eve Ensler from appearing on campus.

What we are demanding is a reasonable attempt to restore intellectually honest debate on our campuses. And we are demanding that it take place in an environment where administrators refrain from endorsing the ideas they love and suppressing the ideas they despise.

With this latest administrative appointment, my university can now begin to slowly crawl back towards the realm of academic sanity where ideas may be freely exchanged without fear of government-imposed retribution.

Nonetheless, we are still a long, long way from home.