A group of Republican students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill claim their budget was slashed by the school’s student government because of ideological differences.
Hoping to invite a panel of high-profile conservative speakers, the group requested $8,000 from the Student Congress for expenses. In response, the College Republicans were offered less than half, which they say exposes a double standard.
Group chairman Peter McClelland said the situation is “not entirely surprising,” noting that members have “seen a pattern since last year which has culminated in a 75 percent total cut in budget for conservative groups.”
In contrast, he said, far left organizations (including one for anarchists and another catering to radical feminists) received as much if not more money for their respective causes.
A college spokesperson defended the student government’s action, explaining that groups find their budgets cut “not because of their political leanings or missions, but because by definition the largest requests have the most to lose in the funding projects.”
McClelland described “a fair amount of hostility” toward conservative groups, indicating that a subsequent appeal of the decision was also denied.
Conservative journalist Katie Pavlich, one of the speakers the UNC group hoped to invite, said she is “disappointed, but not surprised” to see a conservative group targeted.
“The very same educational institutions that preach tolerance are the most intolerant of opposing views,” she added. “This isn’t simply a case isolated to UNC; it’s happening all over the country and has been happening for decades.”
She is correct in identifying the problem; unfortunately, those who control the pursestrings at most liberal universities offer little hope for a solution.
College, which should offer young adults an environment conducive to the free expression of ideas, has become hostile territory for outspoken conservatives. Instead of fostering open dialogue, most universities are unabashed strongholds of leftist groupthink.
Though not indicative of all American colleges, conservatives must realize that they will be heavily outnumbered in the halls of academia, whether as students or faculty members. For all the left’s insistence on a “level playing field” for any number of special interest groups, such accommodations do not extend to those with whom they disagree politically.
Conservatives must rely on their own ingenuity and resolve to make their voices heard rather than count on funding that could be taken away without notice. Fortunately, self-reliance is one of the tenets embraced by the right.
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