The year of 2018 has been nothing short of a blessing. I look back on the challenges and moments of great joy in great appreciation to so many.
While I've been fortunate to do some remarkable things over 2018 such as begin my studies at George Mason, interning at The National Electrical Contractors Association and The American Conservative Union; there is one battle and challenge that had a remarkable outcome in 2018.
In 2017, I decided after high school to attend Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I went into university thinking I would be a typical student and join the running club. That would be the farthest from what I would end up doing.
While the majority of first-year students spent their first months pledging sororities and fraternities, I took over the reins of The College Republicans at Marquette. As the new Chairman, I quickly found myself embedded in a fight of a lifetime against the institution I was residing.
At this time Marquette was in a battle over a lawsuit filed by The Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty on behalf of John McAdams. The short story on the case was that Dr. John McAdams was suspended for questioning a colleague's prohibition on questioning the propriety of gay marriage in class. President Michael Lovell would then demand that McAdams issue a statement accepting his punishment, apologizing for the blog post, and admitting guilt. This was absurd in my opinion and directly violated academic freedom while it's also worth noting that Marquette had been seeking a way to get rid of the conservative professor for years. Every single conservative value one could hold was in direct violation with the horrifying and incorrect actions Marquette took against Dr. McAdams.
At the very same time, Marquette was in the middle of a waging culture war. Leftist bureaucrats had taken over many parts or the institution. There was little conservative voice on the campus, due to it being silenced, which would prompt me to create coalitions to make those voices amplified.
I would take the fight directly to the enemy. No literally, I spent what was the end of 2017 during my midterms, not studying for university tests, but instead reading through hundreds of documents regarding the lawsuit.
I would learn more by reading through briefs and letters between the two parties, then my entire year of studies at Marquette.
When I went back to Marquette in January of 2018 after Christmas, I was all in. There was no going back; I spoke out furiously against what was perceived by students on campus to be a professor who risked the "security" of a "student professor," but I knew that wasn't the truth (the State Supreme Court would later agree). I was fighting against the propaganda that was being pushed from administrators at the university.
I leveraged media appearances and used them as pressure. I held college republican meetings and invited statewide politicians and frequently held events. I kept the heat on the university. I was just a freshman kid at the time with little support until February of 2018 when a former Marquette University alum and donor reached out and commended me on my action.
I was inspired. One supporter became many and soon an underground network of followers. On Friday and Saturday nights I would be found at Reagan Day dinners and fish fries events across the state for Republican candidates. Unconventional would be one way to put it, as I was the only student at MU to wear a necktie every day.
I was speaking to media personnel weekly, whether that was to conservative talk radio across the state, Bill O'Reily's No Spin News, Newsmax TV or local news stations.
This was one of my favorite interviews with The Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty, the law firm that worked steadily to defend Dr. McAdams:
The University at that time had tried to push back, through a series dismal room request forms that they would not approve. They ignored my room requests for speakers, so I had the events anyways.
Left-wing "oppressed" student groups also began to take note of my action on campus which resulted in threats being made against me after going undercover in "Men to Men: Microaggressions" talk at the university.
I exposed left-wing administrators and councilors speaking about how the university seal was a "microaggression." The threats made against me were reported to police, only to be ignored until I spoke to the media about it.
President Lovell would respond to me regarding the threats after the press was consulted. (Funny how that worked.) Lovell didn't care, while neither did Dr. Cole or Dr. Myers. They had one interest. Keeping me silent. I would constantly tweet at him and university administrators, they began to get frustrated and blocked me along with running away from me when walking around campus. It was ironic that they could send their representatives after me to further bother me, but couldn't speak with me man to man.
As the date to the State Supreme Court hearings and ruling neared, administrators became fearful including Dr. Xavier Cole who decided to cancel a meeting with me and then lie about the time we had arranged to speak.
The fight waged on as I would do everything I could to speak out about the lawsuit and even table on campus talking about why the "universities fact sheets" on the case were blatant falsehoods.
With the year coming closer to an end I knew, come the month of March, I would have to find a new lease on life. I applied to numerous institutions and decided in April of 2018 that I would be leaving Marquette.
Marquette would end up losing in the WI Supreme Court to McAdams and tried to spin the verdict. But the truth had prevailed while free speech and liberty had won.
At Campus Reform I reported on the verdict:
According to the decision, the court ruled that the university violated its contract with McAdams, which included an academic freedom clause.
“The undisputed facts show that the University breached its contract with Dr. McAdams when it suspended him for engaging in activity protected by the contract's guarantee of academic freedom,” the court wrote.
“Therefore, we reverse the circuit court and remand this cause with instructions to enter judgment in favor of Dr. McAdams, conduct further proceedings to determine damages (which shall include back pay), and order the University to immediately reinstate Dr. McAdams with unimpaired rank, tenure, compensation, and benefits,” the court added.
I am forever grateful to so many in Wisconsin that reached out to be of help and inspired me to continue fighting, especially the talented team at The Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty. I remember vividly receiving phone calls from state legislators and getting notes from everyday residents in the state, I will never forget those kind words.
So what's the point of me sharing this story?
The year of 2018 taught me how to dig in and fight, but it also taught me when that fight is no longer worth it. I had given everything I had to stand up to the left-wing and one-sided bureaucrats at Marquette. In the end, I know that I had more to give and had to move back to Washington, D.C. to pursue my goals and dreams at a college I could grow at.
Sometimes in life, we must pull back and ask ourselves if we are truly happy and if what we are doing is making a greater impact on the world. I think its important this time of year that we ask ourselves that question.
To this day Marquette University continues to slump away from what Father Pere Marquette ever had intended and envisioned.
President Lovell had promised to have Marquette stand with the Pro-Life movement... I guess that never happened. Marquette University is a nothing more than an institution of hollow promises and dishonesty.
The fallout from losing the McAdams lawsuit has been swift and relentless, while pressure has increased from major donors regarding Former Provost Myers pandering to leftist forces on campus. That's why he had to go - it was the pressure from donors. We would later figure out that my analysis of Marquette pandering to the "mob mentality" was indeed correct.
Forever thankful to 2018, it taught me how to be a fighter.