University of Iowa student and Iowa Federation of College Republicans chair Natalie Ginty was shocked when a tenured professor at her school sent her an email reading “FUCK YOU, REPUBLICANS.” It was a response to a campus-wide email the College Republicans sent out promoting their “Conservative Coming Out Week.”
But what’s even more shocking to Ginty is that her university has neither fired Professor Ellen Lewin, the author of the email, nor taken any disciplinary action against her. Ginty filed a formal complaint Tuesday and the school’s investigators scheduled a formal meeting with Ginty next week.
If the situation was reversed and it was a conservative professor ridiculing a liberal student, Ginty is sure university officials would have already acted to discipline the professor and that more media would have focused on the story.
“The hate speech, everybody would be screaming about it. It would be very different,” Ginty told The Daily Caller. “I think there would be a lot more media and the university would be forced into action. The University of Iowa does tend to be especially liberal, if a Republican professor were to say anything to the socialist group or the LGBT group or the Democrats, I feel like it would be very different.”
Ginty said even her Democratic friends have noted the university’s failure to act quickly to handle the situation, adding that this issue isn’t one that should split along party lines. “It is a common decency thing and having civil discourse,” Ginty said. “I mean, when you use swear words for your argument, you can’t effectively argue your argument, basically. That’s just what Ellen resorted to.”
Ginty said she’s begun referring to Lewin as ‘Ellen’ instead of Professor Lewin because she only “use[s] the term ‘professor’ or ‘Miss’ when I respect someone. I obviously don’t have much respect for her.”
Lewin sent the College Republicans a written apology, but shortly thereafter sent another email with an “additional note” accusing them of “appropriating language of the LGBT [Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender] movement” in their original email, implying that the College Republicans stole the phrase “coming out” from liberals.
“Despite the Republicans’ general disdain for LGBT rights you called your upcoming event ‘conservative coming out day,’ appropriating the language of the LGBT right movement,” Lewin wrote. “Your reference to the Wisconsin protests suggested that they were frivolous attempts to avoid work. And the ‘Animal Rights BBQ’ is extremely insensitive to those who consider animal rights an important cause.”
Lewin also complained about Ginty calling her ‘Ellen,’ instead of referring to her as professor.
“In the email that Ms. Ginty sent complaining about my language, she referred to me as Ellen, not Professor Lewin, which is the correct way for a student to address a faculty member, or indeed, for anyone to refer to an adult with whom they are not acquainted,” Lewin wrote. “I do apologize for my intemperate language, but the message you all sent out was extremely disturbing and offensive.”
Without going into specifics, the university’s president emailed a statement to the campus community asking for everyone to be respectful of each other’s viewpoints.
College Republican National Committee spokesman Rob Lockwood told The Daily Caller he’s proud of Ginty for standing up to the double standard, and hopes to see others around the country follow in her shoes. He said this is just another example of liberals discriminating against conservatives in academia.
“This just shows the strong bias that exists against conservatives on college campuses,” Lockwood said. “This is just one incident in a long list of intolerance. We commend Natalie for bringing this to light and helping expose the bias that exists.”