On Tuesday, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Student Congress Finance Committee cut the budget of the College Republicans over 75% from the previous year, but met the funding requests of two liberal groups.
The College Republicans requested $8,180 to bring two well-known conservative speakers to campus: the News Editor of Townhall.com, Katie Pavlich, and the co-producer of FrackNation, Ann McElhinny. The group’s budget request was already $4,000 less than the previous year, when they were allocated $12,741.
However, the Finance Committee rejected their proposal, despite the organization’s strong record of hosting popular, well-attended events, and only allocated them $3,090; not nearly enough to cover the costs for both events.
In the same meeting, the committee met the funding requests of two left-leaning student organizations: Siren Magazine, a student-produced magazine that “promotes a feminist perspective on issues surrounding gender, identity, sexuality and human rights,” and the UNControllables, who promote “anarchist ideas” and “radical politics”.Siren Magazine received their full request of $5,157 and the UNControllables received $4,005.
Notice in the spreadsheet below how the UNControllables submitted three different budgets to the committee for approval, two of which had to be nullified—while displays of disarray are fitting for an anarchist group, how did a blatantly disorganized group receive almost $1,000 more funds than the College Republicans, who had already lined up two organized speaking events?
The UNC Young Democrats have not applied to the Finance Committee for funding yet, but even without their budget numbers, UNC’s left-leaning groups are receiving far more financial support from the Finance Committee than their conservative counterparts.
Tentative speaker Katie Pavlich was not surprised by the committee’s decision to underfund the group:
"I'm disappointed by this decision but not surprised. The same institutions preaching tolerance are the first to shut the door on conservative voices."
Pavlich’s sentiments were echoed by the Chair of the UNC College Republicans, Peter McClelland:
“UNC is one of the most liberal campuses in North Carolina,” McClelland told Townhall. “We wanted to bring [McElhinny and Pavlich] onto campus to because they are knowledgeable about the big issues on campus.”
“A university is supposed to be a free-market of ideas and the actions of what happened in Financial Committee on Tuesday goes against the fundamental principles of what this university and student government should stand for.”
The College Republicans are planning to protest on Tuesday, September 3rd, when the budget allocations will be officially voted on by the 41-memeber Student Congress; McClelland expressed his worry that there was only a "5% chance" that the Finance Committee's decision would be over-turned.However, the Chair of the Finance Committee, Brittany Best, recently told Townhall that she plans to advocate full funding for the group on Tuesday:
"I was actually unable to attend the beginning of the meeting, which is when the request was heard. However, I have already begun to investigate the situation, and I plan to speak in favor of awarding full funding at next Tuesday's meeting. I feel that these speakers would create valuable dialogue on campus, and I do not see this as a large amount to pay for such well-known speakers that our students would certainly be interested in hearing from."
Lets hope that the Finance Committee's poor decision will be rectified. After all, liberals claim to support and celebrate differences within individuals and the community at large; these days, giving conservative organizations equal treatment would really be the 'progressive' thing to do.