DULUTH, Minn. – Conservative college
students at the University of Minnesota-Duluth distributed 1,300 more copies of
their independent newspaper, the Duluth
Truth, after vandals destroyed hundreds of copies of the first distribution
On the evening of Wednesday, January 31, vandals trashed up
to 500 copies of the Duluth Truth.
The vandals tore up at least 50 copies of the paper, while several hundred more
papers were thrown away.
Christina Wilson, editor in chief of the Duluth Truth, contacted school staff
members and workers with the university’s Facilities Management office.
The school has not yet taken action.
“Other conservative groups have had problems with
vandalism before and in those cases the school didn’t do anything,”
said Wilson. “It’s a very hostile environment for conservative
students and professors on campus.”
The young conservatives from the Duluth Truth, founded with help from the Leadership
Institute’s Campus Leadership Program, immediately began making plans to
continue distributing the paper.
Members originally staggered the release of the paper in
anticipation of hostility on campus. Duluth
Truth staffers distributed the first batch of the paper at 4:00 p.m.
on January 31. By 11:00 p.m., the 500 copies had been either destroyed or
The final 1,300 copies were distributed last night by
newspaper staffers. Vandals tossed nearly 200 papers from this most recent
distribution into recycling bins. Duluth
Truth staff members recovered and redistributed the copies.
In January, Wilson requested distribution racks for the
paper but the school would not grant permission. Instead, Wilson received
permission from the Facilities Management office to leave the papers on top of
covered campus trash cans — a common place for flyer and paper distribution.
“Every other independent paper has a campus distribution
rack — including socialist publications and the Goddess, a paper on feminism and lesbianism,” said Wilson.
“It’s really odd that the only conservative voice on campus is the
only newspaper denied equal access to the student body.”
“I am proud of the perseverance displayed by the
students at the Duluth Truth,”
said Morton Blackwell, president of the Leadership Institute. “They
exemplify the principles of free speech and free press as they face abuse and
persecution by leftists on campus.”
“A fair campus administration would take effective
steps to catch and punish those responsible for this outrage,” Blackwell
Wilson and the Duluth Truth
staff plan to distribute the next issue, which highlights liberal professors on
campus, on Valentine’s Day, February 14.
Institute’s Campus Leadership Program helps conservative students start
newspapers and organizations on college campuses. Between September 2004 and February
2007 the number of active CLP groups at colleges and universities grew from 216
to 1,001; a 363 percent increase. These groups fight for conservative
principles on campuses in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Students who would like
to start a conservative group or campus newspaper should visit www.campusleadership.org. Additional information on the Leadership Institute
is available at www.leadershipinstitute.org.
Michelle Miller works with the Leadership Institute.