An informal survey of a few Wisconsin universities gives us some idea of the degree to which zealous administrators and enthusiastically liberal undergraduates badger conservatives in the state named after that animal.
Thomas Keeley, a student at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee (UWM) ran into administrative roadblocks when he tried to start a conservative newspaper on campus. “We started a newspaper here at UWM, the UWM Times , which is another project of the Conservative Union and, of course, 3 hours into our distribution, the University shut us down for not having a disclaimer and using ‘UWM’ in our title,” Keeley reports. “Noting only that the disclaimer issue was documented, we have since complied.”
“However, they are forcing us to remove our paper from campus or we will face disciplinary action.”
Over at Marquette, the off-campus home of the business manager of the conservative paper on campus—The Warrior—was egged. “The Marquette Department of Public Safety immediately began an investigation into the vandalism when the students living in the house reported the incident,” university spokeswoman Brigid O’Brien Miller writes. “If any one who committed these acts is identified, he or she would be subject to discipline through the student conduct system and could potentially face criminal charges.”
“Acts of vandalism are condemned by Marquette University, as are offensive and hostile statements directed towards any Marguette student or organization.” O’Brien Miller outlines a commendably even-handed approach. But why do these things only seem to happen to conservative students?
Four hours away from Milwaukee, at the University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire (UWEC), college administrators are hell-bent (no pun intended) on banning the bible studies that some resident assistants want to lead. “Deborah Newman, UWEC’s Associate Director of Housing and Residence Life, banned such studies because some students might think the resident assistants were ‘unapproachable,’” Mark Tapscott of the Heritage Foundation reports. “Newman told one of the resident assistants that he must ‘be available to your residents both in reality and from their perspective.’”
“Newman made it clear that resident assistants who insisted on exercising their First Amendment right to free exercise of religion would face ‘disciplinary action.’”
Then there’s the Berkeley of the Badger state—the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Read what happened to a graduate student living in a university-owned apartment: She simply wanted to advertise for a roommate on a university web site.
“I placed in my ad a stipulation that I was looking for a female roommate as I am a single female, but this information was edited out before the ad was posted,” she writes. “As a result, I attracted numerous inquiries from males seeking to become my roommate, and I withdrew the ad.”
She has since found another roommate who meets the criteria in her original ad copy. But, as we can see, the school scarcely delivered on what they claim to offer as a public service.
“I am now firmly convinced that the Campus Information and Visitors’ Center edited my ad to further their loony leftist agenda as they refuse to make accommodations to avoid future situations such as mine,” she reflected. “I also fail to understand how ‘shared bathroom’ are the only two magic words that would make it permissible to advertise for a roommate of the same sex or how a potential advertiser would know that these are the magic words before placing an ad, but customer service and common sense do not seem to be strong points at my university.”
But then, what are the strong points of the University of Wisconsin at Madison?
Malcolm A. Kline is the executive director of Accuracy in Academia.