There are always stories about college being a complete and utter hell for conservative students. There are stories about intolerant professors silencing student viewpoints to push a backwards narrative. About young conservatives being attacked by left leaning agitators.
I will not lie, coming to college, I was both terrified and invigorated to face these challenges head-on. I was ready to stand up for free speech on campus, to call out professors and officials who would use the authority their position brings to silence dissent. However, these challenges seemed to prove… non-existent. In fact, it took quite some time for the radical leftists to start coming out of the woodwork.
The UNCW College Republicans arranged for Mike Adams, a professor at UNCW who has spoken at dozens of universities across the country, to speak at our very own school. Given that Adams is a UNCW professor, this wasn’t extremely difficult.
While booking Adams wasn’t a challenge, advertising the event has proven to draw incredible scrutiny.
Adams is a controversial figure at UNCW because he sued the school in 2007 (and won in 2014) after they refused to promote him to a full-time professor position due to his spiritual and political beliefs. He has also steeped himself in controversy with an article he wrote in 2016 which described a student who created campus-wide drama over a seemingly threatening post on Facebook toward then-presidential nominee Donald Trump, and her ridiculous demands that followed.
As is usual with controversial figures, Adams is beloved by his supporters, and utterly despised by his detractors. So despised, in fact, that they have gone through the disgusting process of subverting the speech of others to keep this one man from speaking.
Our Chapter President, Elise Yost, put up various posters around campus on October 24th in order to advertise the event with Mike Adams. The event discusses freedom of speech on campus and is titled, “Three Threats to Campus Liberty and How We Beat Them.” Within 24 hours of their placement, the posters had been taken down from community boards in various locations on-campus.
Determined, we replaced the posters, but after having done so with eight of them, we decided to email Chancellor Santarelli about this ironic subversion of free speech on October 29th.
Shortly after the email, we decided that whoever was tearing our posters down should know that we would not idly sit on our thumbs. We left a note up next to one of our signs in Leutze Hall which read, “Dear whoever keeps tearing down our flyers, for each one you take down, we’ll put two more up. Your choice.”
We promptly received a reply that read, “I can do this all day c**ts.”.
After making the Chancellor’s Office aware of this incident, they asserted that they would “look into [it] immediately.”
Of course, the vandals were undeterred, as more vulgarities, poorly spelled political critiques and juvenile vandalism still hit the exposed signs.
With all of the vandalism and destruction, we have had to replace over fifteen posters. Though most of the excitement (such as the interesting vandalism seen above) has happened at Leutze Hall, it does not change the fact that, almost campus-wide, it seems as if there is little respect to be had for the speech of a conservative man and organization.
Though extreme progressivism champions equality, it seems as if some people and ideas are far more ‘equal’ than others when it comes to mere verbal expression.
Luckily, we have been informed by campus officials that our flyers will now be placed in locked community boards. Unsurprisingly, this has not stopped the leftist lunacy we find ourselves confronting.
Just last Friday night, we found that our most prominent sign, which had been placed outside with permission granted by the University, had received a large tear in its center (the tears in the corners were there when we hung up the sign).
Luckily, myself and John Rains, our Administrative Vice President, were able to fix the damage with a simple stapler.
Though this is clearly not Berkeley-level behavior, the actions conducted by members of the Campus Left shows a disrespect for freedom of speech on campus which stretches from the shores of California to the beaches of North Carolina.
We heavily urge anyone that has grievances with Professor Adams to show up, listen, and engage in a dialogue, but the sort of childish behavior we have witnessed thus far will not only not be tolerated, but it also will not be met with the kind of capitulation the Campus Left is used to receiving.
Mike Adams will speak tomorrow as planned. These petty insults and crimes will not stop that. Showing up to the event to yell and fuss like petulant children (as we have heard whispers of plans to do so by certain individuals) will not stop the free exchange of ideas.
These bullying tactics have not worked on our peers across the country, and they certainly will not work on us.
The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.