For many people, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is a beloved institution with great academics and a wonderful sports history. Few would connect UNC Chapel Hill with the ongoing war on conservatism being fought on college campuses around the country, but make no mistake, UNC Chapel Hill is ground zero for some of these battles. The latest case comes in the form of an attack from the liberal college and the student government on one of the few conservative organization on campus – the College Republicans. As in most schools, the student government controls the purse string for on campus student groups. In this case it has led to the marginalization for UNC’s conservative students.
These are hard economic times and it is understandable that in some corners of society citizens have to tighten their belts and make due with less. However, this is not what happened in the halls of UNC. See, while the College Republicans were getting their budget gutted, some liberal groups were getting increases in their budgets.
The College Republicans is one of the nation’s largest, most important, and visible conservative college organizations, and they should be treated as such. It seems that in the past, they were. Last year their budget was $12,000; this year the College Republicans were willing to take a cut to their budget and requested only $8,000 for their organization. That total would allow them to bring in two high quality conservative speakers, Katie Pavlich and Ann McElhinny. It was not to be though, because the student government’s finance committee decided to only award the College Republicans $3,000, which meant one of the speakers would have to be cut.
Again, if every group were facing serious budget setbacks, this might be understandable, but the finance committee of the student government followed this suspicious cut with some more dubious choices.
Campus feminist group, Siren Womyn Empowerment Magazine, received a $5,100 budget. An anarchist group that focuses on fighting capitalism, “UNControllables” received $4,000.
Members of the finance committee defended their decisions by saying, “Even though CR funding was cut by $5,000 dollars last night, the amount received was just over $3,000 dollars… That isn’t nothing, and is actually about 30 percent more than the average amount groups received last night. No discrimination took place…” But the executive Vice Chairman of the UNC College Republicans isn’t buying the argument. “He glosses over the fact that left organizations receive three times as much as right organizations,” Smith said.
The College Republicans also intimated that this was not the first time they’d felt targeted for their beliefs. “They’ve been openly hostile to our arguments and our ideas… For once I’d like a university that would back the idea of ideological diversity, and not shutting out people they disagree with. I think it’s important to have debate on campus.”
It’s not just UNC Chapel Hill either, folks.
Universities often like to pretend they are centers of open philosophical and ideological debate. Sadly, this could not be further from the truth as conservative opinion is often roundly criticized and shouted down in the halls of academia.
We must do more to win our younger generations. They are the leaders of the future and if we continue to allow them to be indoctrinated by the left… we will lose. We must take the time, energy and resources to invest into their development and show them that their leftist professors are lying about us.
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