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Oppression of Conservatives on Campus
12/22/2002

The Providence Journal today offers readers reassurance that there are conservative groups on college campuses. There's no question which version of American conservatism we're being offered, here:

On a mission to crush liberalism, the student political club is one of the most aggressive groups on the Roger Williams University campus.

I'll admit that these young right-wing conspiracy hopefuls are a bit... well... flamboyant in their language, but I can't say I blame them for their frustration or for feeling as if they are in the midst of a struggle. Because the university apparently hasn't any Republicans on staff, the group's faculty adviser, June Speakman, is "the adviser to both the College Republicans and Democrats, and also the lone Democrat on the Barrington Town Council" — not exactly a sympathetic ear. Here's her opinion of her charges:

Speakman said she worries about the tone of the campus debate. The College Republicans often use brash language, criticizing anyone they deem liberal.

Before the Coulter debate, in which Speakman participated, someone had torched a poster announcing the event. She said some members, including several women, have left the group

"What's tricky is when students get so angry they push each other around and yell and set posters on fire," said Speakman, the first professor on any college campus to agree to debate Coulter.

"I have spoken to the Republicans on how not to be incendiary and about the rules of civil discourse. I would prefer that they be less in-your-face, but that is not what they want to do."

The College Republicans use "brash language" and criticism. Meanwhile, somebody else lights one promotional sign on fire, and, as I noted last month, the Republicans are made to take them all down (a "fire hazard," you see). I wondered then what made the college's administration believe that conservative signage is particularly flammable. Now, it seems, the belief is that the group's "incendiary discourse" caused their own poster to spontaneously combust.

If only liberals could wring the secret to that trick out of Rush Limbaugh, perhaps they could win back the White House in 2004.

Posted by Justin Katz @ 01:48 PM EST