Monday, November 24, 2003

Masters of circular logic 

I'm sensing a trend that the outspokenness of conservative students, more than conservative faculty, is the focus of leftist attacks on campus. Based on my reading of his previous work, the folks at North Carolina-Wilmington (or UNC-Wonderland", in his view) have made a bad decision to poke the hornet nest of Mike Adams. There, student government has voted to revoke the official status of the College Republicans, who wanted to limit their membership to, well, Republicans. And, Professor Adams reveals,
the decision to de-recognize the CRs was, in fact, done without the input of a single Republican. In other words, the SOC excluded Republicans from a vote to force the Republicans to include the Democrats under the threat of excluding the Republicans from campus if they don't. Is everyone following the logic of our leading educators?
Yet that isn't all of it. On the very same day a second group calling itself Students for a Stronger UNCW was denied official recognition. Also refusing to sign the non-discrimination clause, the group was told its purpose was unclear. Prof. Adams makes clear that this was not the issue at all:
...such a view is highly implausible when one examines the following portions of their proposed constitution: "(SSUNCW is) steadfastly committed to defending causes of academic and intellectual honesty, patriotism of country, free speech for all students, fair and balanced classrooms and forums, and the ideals that we deem attributable to a fair and properly functioning campus community."

Since the rejection of that group, I have obtained copies of notes written by members of the SOC, used in the decision to reject the proposed conservative student organization. Among the comments are the following: "What's this? Is it a witch-hunt against 'non-patriotism' (e.g., speaking out against the government?)" and "I wonder about an agenda that proves to be divisive" and "this isn't for a student organization to determine. This should be omitted. Academic freedom is already guaranteed."

That's right, folks. The committee has determined that the group does not have the academic freedom to fight for academic freedom because they already have academic freedom. I promise, I'm not making this up.
No, it's believable all right. Here the work of our Task Force for Restructuring has put forth a proposal for an "Advisory Council for Student Diversity and Social Justice" (see item #1). The discussion (in the bullet points) is an amazing give-and-take between those who want a narrow definition of the council ("because it's about diversity issues, it's not just everybody") to questioning what you mean by diversity ("There are a lot of religion-based groups � where's their voice in this?" and "Are we looking at a different conception of diversity?") What results from this is anyone's guess.

Two suggestions: First, we suggest to UNC-Wonderland that their student government be awarded honorary Master's Degrees in Circular Logic (we could make them take courses, but they'd all get A's). Second, we need a similar name for SCSU. Social Conservatives Suck University? Put your suggestions in the comment box, please.