A host of absurd, bizarre, and outrageous escapades on Americas campuses this academic year demonstrate that political correctness remains a thriving menace to freedom of speech and toleration of dissent from liberal orthodoxy.
These shocking incidents from institutions of higher education were recognized today in the Collegiate Networks 6th Annual Campus Outrage Awards.
"Pollys" are given each year on April Fools Day to highlight the noxious tendencies of radical faculty and students at the nations colleges. Over the years, both the Washington Post and Wall Street Journal have recognized "Pollys" for highlighting the absurd grip of political correctness.
These awards are given each year to remind the public that political correctness, curricular decay, and violations of academic freedom and free speech remain an unfortunate reality throughout much of higher education.
"We created the Campus Outrage Awards to expose the excesses of college administrators and professors who misuse their authority to silence dissent and impose their own political agendas on unwilling students," says Collegiate Network president and former Domestic Policy Advisor to President Reagan, T. Kenneth Cribb, Jr. 2003 Polly Award recipients are:
1. Duke University/Columbia University (tie):
After spending 14 years in a federal prison for bombing the U.S. Capitol in 1983, Laura Whitehorn lectured at Duke University where according to the Durham Herald Sun she advised the students, "Its easy to do a bombing."
Meanwhile, at Columbia, Professor Gayatri Spivak delivered, in flawless academic drivel, the following rationalization for suicide bombings:
"Suicidal resistance is a message inscribed on the body when no other means will get through. It is both execution and mourning, for self and other."
2. University of Mississippi:
During celebrations of the 40th anniversary of desegregation at the University, racist graffiti was found scrawled on the dormitory doors of three African-American students. One University Police official threatened that the students responsible would be prosecuted for "criminal charges, possibly a felony, or it could be a federal offense."
One month later, the punishment was ratcheted back to community service hours and therapeutic "reflection papers" when three African-American first-year students confessed to inciting this campus storm.
3. Georgetown University:
If racist graffiti at Ol Miss warrants fifteen-page "reflection papers," what is the proportionate punishment for killing a fellow student – a ten-page reflection paper and counseling?
Georgetown meted out this "stiff" punishment to the student responsible for the February 2000 death of sophomore David Shick. Ruled a homicide, Shicks death occurred after a drunken altercation with other Georgetown students.
U.S. Attorney Wilma Lewis declined to press charges, implying that Shicks role in the fight may have precluded a conviction. Georgetown kept the case largely secret (even from the victims parents), invoking the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, until results of the legal authorities investigation were released to the public in December 2002.
Shicks parents sum up the appalling nature of this tragedy: "Is it any wonder that colleges and universities do not want to disclose how they deal with violent offenders on campus? The climate of secrecy . . . allow[s] colleges and universities to manipulate the process in order to preserve their reputation."
Such light sanctions ultimately beg the question: "What does one have to do to get ousted from Georgetown?" The next time a student is found with hard-core narcotics, or caught plagiarizing a senior thesis, Georgetown is going to have a tough time making a case for expulsion.
4. Cornell University/University of California at Berkeley (tie):
Demonstrating "a commitment to affirming womens sexuality," Cornells Gannett Health Center has decided to sell vibrators to students.
And after winning a "Polly" last year for funding the criminal ethnic separatist student group, Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan (MEChA), Berkeley still hasnt learned the consequences of allocating student fees to radical student groups.
The U.C. Berkeley Queer Alliance receives $9,000 in student fees, which the group uses to maintain an online message board on which students discuss campus locations where they can engage in illicit sexual activities.
The group has also drilled a series of "glory holes" in Berkeleys bathrooms to encourage these trysts. Though the University Student Code of Conduct outlaws "conduct which threatens the health or safety of any person," Berkeley has done nothing to moderate the groups website.
5. University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill:
The Durham Herald Sun reported that UNC associate professor Martha Lamb was pressured to resign after several students accused Lamb of making them feel uncomfortable by creating a hostile learning environment.
Lambs crime? During a lecture to her students she observed that in the 1960s she heard the comment made that NAACP was an acronym for "Niggers Aint Acting Like Colored People," but, Lamb continued, today one would rarely hear such a remark.
All 16 students attempted to or dropped her course in protest for Lambs benign historical reference. Lamb ultimately resigned.
The eagerly anticipated "Polly" awards have become the national standard against which outrageous episodes of political correctness are measured. The Washington Post has referred to the "Polly" awards as "the coveted Campus Outrage Award for loony political correctness." The Wall Street Journal has called the annual awards "a great public service."
A complete list of the winning entries is available on Collegiate Networks website (www.isi.org) and on PR Newswire. Learn more about Campus Outrage 2003 at: http://www.collegiatenetwork.org/outrage2003.html
The Collegiate Network was founded in 1979 to nurture student journalists and provide an alternative voice on the college campus through a network of 80 college newspapers that focus public awareness on the politicization of American college classrooms, curricula, and student life-and the resulting decline of educational standards.