An assistant professor of art and graphic design at Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas is under investigation for allegedly forcing graphic design students to create anti-gun artwork for her own personal crusade against firearms.
Campus Reform broke the story and confirmed that officials at the public, taxpayer-supported school launched an investigation after receiving a student’s official complaint last week.
According to the complaint, the professor, Jennifer Yucus, required students to produce posters in opposition to certain gun-friendly legislation currently making its way through the Texas state legislature.
“Several of my classmates were uncomfortable with the assignment and either quietly or openly expressed this,” reads the complaint. “Professor Yucus asked students to rationalize objections by thinking of it as a job from an employer (or words to that effect).”
But, wait. It gets better. Yucus allegedly exploited the student-created artwork to advertise an anti-gun petition called “MSU is anti-Concealed Carry on Campus.” She also made students put the URL to her petition on their original art.
Yucus also seems to have hung the posters prominently on campus and placed them on a now-deleted Facebook page espousing gun control.
“Professor Yucus took photos of her students in the process of drafting and creating the posters, but did not say how these would be used,” the complaint continues. “The posters were then hung in the hallways of the Fain Arts building, giving the impression of student support.”
A plain reading of Texas law seems to indicate that Yucus committed a crime if she indeed made her students create art in support of her pet political causes.
The germane portion of subsection C of 556.004 of Government Code, Title 5 reads: “A state officer or employee may not use official authority…to interfere with or affect the result of an election or nomination of a candidate or to achieve any other political purpose.”
According to The Texas Tribune, Yucus makes $46,008 annually. She was hired at Midwestern State in 2010.
“It is a serious offense,” Midwestern State’s provost, Betty Stewart, told Campus Reform.
Until the investigation is complete, Yucus will continue to teach courses.
Yucus also has a website. There she explains that, as a designer, she hopes to approach “social issues through effective design that educates the masses while utilizing earth-friendly design practices.”
In addition to her alleged passion for gun control, Yucus says on her resume that she is “motivated by various social issues such as women’s rights, various issues in Uganda and global sex trafficking.”
She also says she seeks to “create effective social awareness pieces that will have an effect on our national and global situation.”