The presidents of 13 San Antonio colleges declared earlier this month that “hate speech” and “inappropriate messages” should not be treated as free speech on college campuses.
The op-ed was written by Dr. Ric Baser, president of the Higher Education Council of San Antonio (HECSA), and signed by San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg and 12 other members of the HECSA, which represents all 23 institutions of higher learning in the city.
While it begins by noting that “American colleges and universities have always embraced diverse points of view, leading to a multitude of new discoveries and cultural understanding,” the op-ed then goes on to contend that “from time to time, American colleges and universities witness hate speech or activity disguised as free speech” that demands exceptions to that rule.
“Such has been the case in recent weeks at several colleges and universities in San Antonio and throughout Texas,” it asserts, referring to hateful messages that have been found at San Antonio colleges, including an incident on November 20 at the University of Texas-San Antonio where white nationalist banners were displayed on campus.
“As members of the [HECSA], we…feel it is important to speak out and make a distinction between diversity of thought and disingenuous misrepresentation of free speech,” the signatories state, declaring that “hate speech has no place at our colleges and universities” and that “inappropriate messages, such as banners and flyers that are meant to provoke, spread hate, or create animosity and hostility, are not welcome or accepted.”
A similar incident took place in October at Cleveland State University (CSU), where a poster encouraging members of the LGBT community to kill themselves was discovered on campus, but in that case the university took a different approach.
According to Buzzfeed, CSU President Ronald Berkman released a statement acknowledging that while the poster was “reprehensible,” its content is nonetheless protected by the U.S. Constitution.
Campus Reform reached out to each of the 10 HECSA members who were not listed among the signatories to the op-ed, but seven did not respond.
Two of the members listed on the HECSA website—Dr. William Chiego and Dr. J. Dan Bates—are no longer affiliated with institutions in San Antonio, while Dr. Abe Jaquez, president of the Baptist University of the Americas, told Campus Reform that he was not aware of the op-ed, but supports its message.
The HECSA did not provide a response.
Less Than 10 Attend University’s White Privilege Workshop
Only nine students showed up to take part in the University of North Carolina at Charlotte’s workshop series focused on teaching students about white privilege and related topics. The total number of students in the audience for the first “White Consciousness Conversation,” held Sept. 10, was nine — but two were students there not as participants but as journalists mainly to observe. One was from The College Fix and another from the Niner Times campus newspaper.
Of the remaining seven students, five are members of the university’s conservative Young Americans for Freedom chapter, who were there more out of curiosity and concern about the nature of the seminar and its taxpayer-funded narrative as opposed to learning about how they allegedly perpetuate racism and inequality as Americans with white skin.
Finally, the other two students attended because their professors offered them extra credit to do so, they told The Fix.
With that, it appears the relatively new “White Consciousness Conversations” at UNC Charlotte, which boasts a student population of nearly 30,000, drew .02 percent of its student population.
Facilitators of the workshop did not respond to a subsequent request for comment from The College Fix about what they thought of the event’s low turnout.
According to the university’s website, the conversations aim to help students understand “the meaning and implications of whiteness” and how “engaging in anti-racist practice is crucial in creating racial equity.”
“This space is for all undergraduate and graduate students at UNC Charlotte who are interested in engaging in conversations to assist in their understanding of how racism is perpetuated individually, culturally, and systemically,” the website states.
100 Americans Owe $1 Million+ In Student Loan Debt
Astronomically high college tuition facilitated by a bottomless ocean of student loans has saddled Americans with a record $1.48 trillion in non-dischargeable debt – an amount which has more than doubled since the 2009 lows.
As we reported in January, nearly 40% of student loans taken out in 2004 are projected to default by 2023 according to the Brookings institute.
While in March we noted that debt-laden millennials were set back an average of $140,000 vs. their parents – a problem compounded by the fact that students aren’t just borrowing money for tuition; their student loans cover rent, food and other bills, leaving them with massive interest payments and in many cases, little prospect of getting ahead – much less saving for retirement.
Enter the million-dollar-debtors
While millions of Americans are drowning in student loans – 101 people have the ultimate albatross around their necks; student loan balances exceeding $1 million, according to the Wall St. Journal. Five years ago, there were just 14 people with loans that large.
Utah orthodontist Mike Meru, 37, is one of them. After graduating from Brigham Young University with no debt and a new marriage, Meru borrowed $601,506 debt to attend USC’s orthodontics program – while his new wife Melissa finding work as a USC administrative assistant to save on tuition. After a few years, his student loan had swelled to $1,060,94.
Judge Allows UC Berkeley To Face Lawsuit
(Reuters) – A federal judge rejected the University of California at Berkeley’s bid to dismiss a lawsuit claiming it discriminated against conservative speakers like Ann Coulter by imposing unreasonable restrictions and fees on their appearances.
In a decision late Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Maxine Chesney in San Francisco said two conservative groups could pursue claims that the school applied its policy for handling “major events” and an earlier policy for “high-profile speakers” in a manner that unfairly suppressed conservative speech.
But the judge also said she was “unpersuaded” by claims by the plaintiffs that the school engaged in intentional viewpoint discrimination, and that the major events policy was too vague. She said the plaintiffs could not seek punitive damages.
The Berkeley College Republicans and the Young America’s Foundation, a Tennessee group, had sued after the university canceled Coulter’s scheduled speech last April 27, citing security concerns.
Janet Napolitano, president of the University of California, was also named as a defendant.
UC Berkeley is known as the birthplace of the student-led Free Speech Movement of the 1960s. Like other schools, it has tried to welcome different views without jeopardizing safety or its educational mission.
The major events policy was adopted in July, and gave school officials discretion to take various steps to ensure security.
Chesney said the plaintiffs may pursue an equal protection claim over a security fee charged for an appearance by conservative commentator Ben Shapiro that was well above a fee at the same venue for Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, part of the court’s liberal bloc.