The Rambling Exec of Georgia Tech

Posted: Oct 24, 2005 12:05 AM

Wayne Clough, the President of Georgia Institute of Technology, seems to be making the same argument nearly every college administrator makes when I expose First Amendment violations at the college or university he (or she) is supposed to be running. That argument consists of five words:

“Liar! Liar! Pants on fire!”

In response to my recent column “Colleges to Avoid, Part II,” Clough stated – to a Tech alumnus - that I am “confused” on a number of issues and that I have reported facts that the university is unable to “verify.” In addition to expressing “disappointment” that alumni would believe my article, Clough laments my lack of “courtesy” for not contacting the school with my “concerns.” This, he suggests, should have been done before writing my column. All of this is intended to demonstrate Georgia Tech’s zero tolerance policy towards censorship.

Unless I am still “confused,” this column should help Georgia Tech to verify criticisms and “concerns” raised in my previous column. I will also offer advice on how to clean up the “diversity wreck a Georgia Tech” that has caused so much embarrassment for concerned Yellow Jacket alumni. I call these recommendations my “free speech recs for Georgia Tech.”

The most important point from my previous column concerns Georgia Tech’s clear violation of the Supreme Court case Wisconsin v. Southworth (2000). This case requires “viewpoint neutrality” in the distribution of mandatory student fees at all public institutions.

Recommendation #1. Read Southworth and distribute a copy of the case to all Georgia Tech administrators who are involved in the allocation of mandatory student fees. Also provide a copy for every member of the student government. If this is too difficult, send a single memo (perhaps via email) explaining the Southworth rule to the entire university community.

It is worth noting that President Clough copied the student newspaper in his terse response to my column – the same response that characterizes me as “confused.” This was a serious mistake.

A cursory search of the archives of the student newspaper reveals an article featuring an argument between the College Republicans and the Pride Alliance. In that article, it is demonstrated conclusively that Georgia Tech is not in compliance with Southworth. The allocation of student fees at Georgia Tech turns upon a distinction that violates the requirement of viewpoint neutrality. I would encourage everyone reading this column to also read that exchange in the student paper. If you do not have time, I can briefly summarize the position of the Pride Alliance with the following run-on sentence:

Yes, we are involved in political activities but we really aren’t a political group because we use university resources on our non-political activities and collect private funds for all of our political activities so it is fine that the Pride Alliance gets money from the Student Government and the College Republicans don’t.

Recommendation #2. Do your homework before you accuse me of not doing mine. The search engine located on your own website should be of some assistance.

Recommendation #3. Abolish the “political,” “cultural,” and “social” club distinction – and/or whatever other arbitrary distinctions that may have been invented at Georgia Tech in an effort to circumvent the requirements of the First Amendment.

Recommendation #4. Follow #3 before you are sued in federal court. I have already contacted a willing plaintiff and an interested attorney. I expect you will be outgunned in this battle by superior legal counsel. Be very careful, here.

It appears from reading Clough’s response that he also thinks I am “confused” about an incident involving a student who was compelled to take down an “offensive” American flag that was hung above his desk at Georgia Tech. I interviewed the student informally on the campus of Georgia Tech last year. But, presently, I am “confused” as to the meaning of the word “confused” in the context of Clough’s response. Does he mean that I am a) lying or b) hallucinating?

Recommendation #5. Invite Mike Adams to Georgia Tech to submit to a polygraph examination to determine whether he is lying. As an incentive, pay him$1000 cash if he passes the test. He will gladly pay you $1000 if he fails.

Recommendation #6. Make Mike Adams use some of the $1000 he wins from the polygraph bet to pay for a psychiatric evaluation to prove that he is not hallucinating.

Recommendation #7. Supplement #6 by giving Mike Adams a drug test, just in case.

Recommendation #8. Skip the three previous recommendations and simply send a memo to the entire university reminding everyone that the right to display the flag of one’s country is not trumped by some anti-American bigot’s assertion that somewhere, somehow, someone “might” be offended by patriotism. Following this recommendation will also help to stave off the ensuing donor boycott at Georgia Tech.

This should give the administration enough to chew on for now. I’ll be back in a few days to talk about courtesy and other important matters from my recent column.