Here Are 5 ‘Egregious’ Cases of Collegiate Conservative Censorship This Year

Mary Margaret Olohan | Reporter
  • Intercollegiate Studies Institute President Charlie Copeland reveals five cases of conservative collegiate censorship.
  • The incidents involve ISI students at Gonzaga University, Wake Forest University, University of Notre Dame, Michigan State University and Pitzer College.
  • Copeland maintains that the censorship seen on these campuses discourages diversity of thought and is dangerous to student growth and United States unity.

The Intercollegiate Studies Institute says conservative censorship as seen in five specific instances at colleges across the United States is destructive for the nation.

President of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI) Charlie Copeland revealed five cases of conservative collegiate censorship this year in an interview with The Daily Caller News Foundation.

The ISI is an intellectual organization focused on teaching America’s founding principles to a new generation of conservative leaders.

“Our students, just because they happen to lean conservatively or libertarian, are in many cases threatened or harassed,” Copeland said. (RELATED: Study: Google Favors Liberal News Outlets Over Conservative Ones)

Gonzaga University

One of the incidents Copeland listed took place at Gonzaga University in Maryland. ISI planned to host a debate, “Why Bother with a Liberal Arts Education?” ISI invited George Mason Professor Bryan Caplan, who views liberal arts study as unimportant, Clemson professor Brookes Brown who believes that liberal arts studies are indeed important and Utah State professor Harrison Kleiner as moderator.

Gonzaga refused to allow ISI to hold the debate on campus though ISI offered to pay for space. Gonzaga also refused to give a reason why they would not allow ISI to hold the event on campus, according to Forbes. They also requested a list of the students and faculty at Gonzaga who were involved with the event. Copeland believes they wanted this information as a sort of blacklist.  ISI chose to hold the event in a neighboring hotel.

Copeland pointed out that Gonzaga allowed Bernie Sanders to hold an event at the school that year, but did not allow the ISI event to take place which would have discussed both sides of the political spectrum. “You’re allowed to discuss socialism on campus but you’re not allowed to discuss liberal arts at a liberal arts school,” Copeland said.

Gonzaga University did not respond to requests for comment.

Wake Forest University

The ISI president also referenced an incident that took place at Wake Forest where a student posted a picture of a fake presidential candidate captioned “Let’s build a wall between us.” The picture referred to building a wall between Wake Forest and a neighboring college, according to The College Fix.

Wake Forest decided that this was a racist incident and called an investigation over the incident. When student and ISI member Jordan Lancaster posted on Twitter and claimed that the school was overreacting, Lancaster was doxxed. Twitter members “called my employer and my school, found my Facebook and LinkedIn accounts, reported my twitter [for violation of terms], and have actively been advocating for me to get fired and expelled,” Lancaster told The College Fix.

Wake Forest did not respond to requests for comment.

The University of Notre Dame

At the University of Notre Dame, a January panel hosted by the Mediation Program of the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies discussed whiteness as an oppressive political condition. The panel discussed whiteness as an oppressive political condition.

Professor of the Practice of Conflict Transformation and Peacebuilding David Anderson Hooker moderated the discussion and said that whiteness is a political condition, according to the Irish Rover. “The illusion of whiteness as related to racial categorization disguises what is actually most important… namely, white is a description of both a political condition and a mechanism for the distribution of power. While it has real relation to the concept of racism, the two don’t squarely overlap.”

“Black folks, you know what whiteness is because it is thrown in your face. All day, every day, you endure it…. We’re confronting a system of domination,” said Ph.D. Student of Sociology Emmanuel Cannady according to the Irish Rover.

When a white visitor who happened to be on campus attempted to ask a question to the panel, the microphone was taken out of the man’s hands, Copeland said. Professor of Africana Studies and Political Science Dianne Pinderhughes shouted over the man’s question, according to the Irish Rover, by yelling, “White privilege!”

“This is an internationally recognized top tier, elite university,” Copeland said. “All the faculty members on this panel believe whiteness is oppressive to them. But here they are, members of the faculty at this elite university.”

The University of Notre Dame did not respond to requests for comment.

Michigan State University

The fourth instance Copeland mentioned involved the General Assembly of the Associated Students of Michigan State University.  A member of ASMSU, Rep. Sergei Kelley, reportedly wanted to identify other conservatives at the university who might want to run for the general assembly. The student began advertising to attract these students, including his ASMSU position and watermark on fliers he handed out and in his email signature.

Liberal members of ASMSU said this was inappropriate, according to Copeland, and forwarded a motion to vote him off of student government. Copeland compared this to Nancy Pelosi hypothetically voting Mark Meadows out of Congress because she took issues with his politics.

ASMSU then changed the definition of what an “inappropriate act” is to include “the misrepresentation of a constituency,” as a way of attempting to remove the student from ASMSU, according to Copeland. While they succeeded in passing the wording, they did not succeed in kicking the student off ASMSU, Copeland said.

“I do not think I have broken any code violations… there is no ASMSU logo on the referenced Conservative Wave Plan… but rather on emails I have sent to certain people who use the same email signature I use in all my emails, which includes my position as a student representative,” Kelley said, according to The Morning Watch. “I didn’t misrepresent ASMSU because I am one representative, not the whole [General Assembly] GA.”

Michigan State University did not respond to requests for comment.

Pitzer College

The final incident Copeland mentioned took place at Pitzer College. The college was voting on whether or not to suspend an Israel study abroad program, and the ISI collegiate newspaper The Claremont Independent was covering the voting process, according to Copeland.

Though the president of Pitzer College did not suspend the program, the college prevented The Claremont Independent from attending the Pitzer College Council vote on whether or not to suspend the program. All the other student newspapers were allowed to attend, according to The Claremont Independent, but that publication was told that “no external media are permitted.”

Copeland believes this was because Pitzer College only wanted viewpoints similar to their own covering the event.

“The less diverse we are, the more split we become, the more violence we experience,” Copeland said. “A lot of what the civil rights movement was about was making sure that people with different opinions or opportunities could be heard … This is hypocritical and it is bad for our nation.”

“Due to limited seating for College Council, the Faculty Executive Committee (FEC) requested that attendance be limited to Pitzer faculty, staff and current students, and that reporters be limited to the official 5C paper, The Student Life,” said Anna Chang, Senior Director for Communications and Media Relations at Pitzer College in a statement to The DCNF.

“The Claremont Independent (CI) is privately funded,” Chang added. “FEC also excluded the LA Times and other papers that have inquired about attendance to the meeting, along with Pitzer alumni who had asked to attend.  If there were any current Pitzer students who reported for the CI, they were welcome as a member of the Pitzer community.”

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