The campus security guards once derided by students as “rent-a-cops” are now giving the term “thought police” a very literal meaning, if the experience of two Stanford University Ph. D. candidates serves as any guide.
The pair was surprised when the campus police knocked on the door, shortly after Fox News called Ohio for President George W. Bush on Election Day.
The campus police asked to come in. When the campus police asked the two students for identification, they supplied it.
The next day,one of the students found a message tacked to his door from the Graduate Life Office at the Palo Alto campus. Happily, this episode was resolved in the students’ favor.
Nor is this the first time that campus security have, to put it mildly, been politicized. We received a call from a student from the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa who told us of a visit that campus security guards made to her house.
Operating way outside of their jurisdiction, those campus cops never made clear the purpose of their visit. The student they were interrogating, who wore “W” buttons on the liberal campus, claimed to have recently been attacked in the parking lot of the school. Also:
Several years back, Michael Marcavage was taken by Temple University police to a mental hospital after he kept an appointment he made with two school bureaucrats to stage a Christian production on campus that would provide an alternative to a school-sponsored play that religious students at Temple found offensive.
Dan Flynn, former executive director of Accuracy in Academia, notes that campus police often stand by and watch, rather than restrain, unruly demonstrators who disrupt speeches by conservatives at colleges and universities.
Lewis and Clark College in Oregon gives campus police job applicants a diversity quiz. Passing the quiz is key to employment with that school’s campus police.
The amount of legal authority that these campus cops now have makes their operations even more alarming. On some campuses, such as Temple’s, the campus cops are part of the metropolitan police department. On other, more isolated campuses, such as Stanford’s, the Campus police are the de facto police department.
If FBI agents ever behaved in the above manner, ACLU members would link hands in protest around the agency’s Washington, D. C. headquarters.
Malcolm A. Kline is the Executive Director of Accuracy in Academia.
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