Education & Academia

Parade of Pies and Potty Politics Highlight Campus Outrages

Young America’s Foundation compiled this list of the top ten most outrageous and ridiculous campus outrages from the 2004-2005 academic year. 

This year’s winners include. . .

10. A campus employee at the University of Oregon was told to remove a yellow ribbon sticker that proclaimed “Support the Troops” from his school-owned maintenance vehicle.  Another university employee had complained that the sticker violated state law which says that public employees cannot use state resources to further political messages.   

9. Two students at Claremont College defaced over fifty sport-utility vehicles on campus by writing messages on the vehicles stating, “My SUV wastes 33% more gas than a car,” “I love smog in the morning,” and “Consume – all the cool kids are doing it.”  The messages were apparently written across the windows with shoe polish.  After review, the administration pointed out that the students were acting “from what they thought was within the parameters of [a] class,” and “believe that they should not be sanctioned for their actions.”  The students had received an assignment to “develop your own political voice.”  The professor ‘inadvertantly’ approved the project.

8. At Roosevelt High School in Des Moines, Iowa, ninth grader Brittany Chandler, was brought to the Vice-Principal’s office for wearing a t-shirt with a pro-life message.  She was told she could not leave until she had another shirt brought to her.  Her father said he would not bring a different shirt and her mother could not be reached.  To solve the problem, the administration called in her 12th grade sister, telling her to get her younger sister a shirt and threatening to withhold her diploma if she did not comply.  Since graduation was approaching, the sister complied. 

7. Villanova University erected a monument to baby-killer Mine Ener, the former director of Villanova’s Center for Arab and Islamic Studies.  Ener committed suicide in jail while awaiting trial for the murder of her unwanted 6-month old daughter who had Down syndrome.  The memorial was later retracted. 

6. School presidents Father Dennis Dease of the University of St. Thomas, and Christopher Thomforde of St. Olaf College, publicly denounced campus lectures by Ann Coulter.  Father Dease even cited the lecture, sponsored by Young America’s Foundation, as “hateful speech.”  Father Dease had no comment when leftist author/commentator Al Fraken appeared on campus earlier in the year.  Neither president attended the Coulter lectures, both of which were interrupted by disrespectful and disruptive heckling, catcalling, and profanity.

5. Professor Allen Quist reported that a widely used K-12 civics textbook, We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution, published by the Center for Civic Education (and subsidized by federal money), says this of the Bill of Rights:

As fundamental and lasting as its guarantees have been, the U.S. Bill of Rights is a document of the eighteenth century, reflecting the issues and concerns of the age in which it was written. . . Other national guarantees of rights also reflect the cultures that created them.  Many of these cultures have values and priorities different from our own.

The textbook had the following to say about America’s Founders:

Indeed it is probable that the Founders would be somewhat surprised at the reverence in which they and their writings have been held by subsequent generations of Americans.  The Founders, themselves, were vigorous critics of the wisdom they inherited. . . They would expect no less of you. 

4. According to a University of Connecticut study, one in three high school students said that the First Amendment went “too far” in guaranteeing rights.  The study, funded by the John and James Knight Foundation, also found that only half of students think newspapers should be allowed to publish without government approval of stories.  Compared to 95% of adults, only 83% of students said people should be allowed to express unpopular opinions.

3. Fort Lewis College student Mark O’Donnell was off campus wearing a sweatshirt advertising his campus conservative club, when a foreign language instructor kicked him.  Only when the incident became public did the instructor issue an apology.

2. Professor Olga Gershenson of the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and Barbara Penner from University College in London made a call for academic papers for their edited collection “Toilet Papers: The Gendered Construction of Public Toilets.”  They “welcome papers which explore the cultural meanings, histories, and ideologies of the public toilet as gendered space.”  The announcement said that public toilets are “sexually-charged and transgressive spaces that shelter illicit sexual practices and act as a cultural repository for taboos and fantasies.”  Also solicited were art projects relating to the subject matter.  Ms. Gershenson has made presentations in the past titled “Public Bathrooms? The Rhetoric of Space, Gender, and Power” and “Potty Politics on Campus: Debates over Unisex Bathrooms.”

1.  ‘Open-minded’ liberals stooped to new lows this year to stop conservative speakers on college campuses.  Ann Coulter, speaking at the University of Arizona in October, had a pie thrown at her.  David Horowitz and Bill Kristol, speaking at Butler University and Earlham College, respectively, were also ‘pied.’  Pat Buchanan was doused in salad dressing while addressing students at Western Michigan University.  In each case, little was done in terms of apologies from the school administrations or criminal action being taken against the assailants.    

This list hints at the unfair and biased activities of professors and college administrators that occur nationwide.  High schools and universities are meant to be institutions of learning where students are exposed to intellectually diverse and relevant ideas, but this is not the case.  Young America’s Foundation is working daily to inspire young people with conservative ideas and encourage them to share with their peers and professors.  For more information about our programs, please visit http://www.yaf.org/.

Sign Up