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  • DePaul's Double Standard

    2/11/2013 4:11:41 PM Posted by Patrick Coyle
    DePaul #1By Kate Edwards 

    The recent vandalism of a pro-life flag display set up by the DePaul University Young Americans for Freedom has sent shockwaves through the conservative media, being reported on by the Daily Caller, Fox News, The Huffington Post, LifeNews and several others. So, one would imagine that DePaul University, the largest Catholic University in America, would publicly apologize for the blatant attack on free speech, and would take steps to ensure something like this never happens again.

    Wrong.

    Worse than the muted response and support given to the DePaul Young Americans for Freedom, is that when liberals are offended at DePaul University, all sorts of things happen to ensure they are kept happy.

    Nicholas Hahn at Real Clear Religion showcases how he was treated by the DePaul administration when his conservative club dared to challenge liberal sensibilities:

    Your humble correspondent is an alumnus of DePaul University and in January of 2006 my conservative student organization held an Affirmative Action Bake Sale that sold baked goods at different prices depending on ethnicity. The bake sale was designed to demonstrate racial preferences in Affirmative Action policies. Amid student protests, the University shut down our bake sale.

    After a lengthy investigation, our group was censured, suspended from applying for student organization activities funds, and forced to participate in an "educational project" with the ulterior aim of re-educating us. Fr. Holtschneider even penned a University-wide email denouncing our event as "blatantly offensive," and that it didn't "rise to the level of DePaul's commitment to create a welcoming atmosphere for all."

    Unfortunately, that's not the end of the story. In March of that year, campus buildings had been vandalized with racist graffiti scribbled on walls during the early morning hours and warranted yet another University-wide email from Fr. Holtschneider. In an embarrassing fit of melodrama, Fr. Holtschneider wrote that he was in New York, but would rush back to campus at once! to "reaffirm our commitment to fostering a welcoming environment" and to host a "solidarity prayer vigil."

    What's more, a University spokesperson  told WBBM that the campus had been "politically charged" since my student organization's bake sale and that it "certainly created some dialogue about Affirmative Action policies and practices about minorities on campus."

    What Fr. Holtschneider opportunely omitted from his version of events was that some of the graffiti accompanied a "from the College Republicans" signature. My friends and I were questioned and cleared of all wrongdoing. After all the town hall meetings, grieving sessions, and candle light vigils, the "hate incident" was a  hoax intended to frame my student organization.

    The University's shameful attempt to connect our bake sale to racist graffiti came and went, apparently without any lessons learned.

    It is clear from past events that DePaul University will go above and beyond to fan the flames when liberals are "offended," but when a pro-life display on campus set up by conservatives is destroyed it goes, remarkably, unnoticed by the administration. A simple email apology from Fr. Holtscheneider to Kristopher Del Campo, chair of DePaul YAF, is not enough. Where is the campus wide email condemning the vandalism of the students involved in the destruction of the flag display? Why are these students not being forced into an "educational project?" Where is the prayer vigil? What about language calling the vandalism a "hate incident"?

    The double standard is incomprehensible, and will only get worse if we do not stand up for conservative students. If DePaul University wants to consider itself a Catholic University, I would suggest it re-evaluate its treatment of pro-life and conservative students. 

    Kate Edwards is a Program Officer for YAF Chapter Services.

    • Readers' Comments

    • Are you really comparing a bake sale that was anti-affirmative action to vandalism? These are separate events, and I think you're way out of line to suggest that reparations be made. Firstly, in order to remedy your obviously racist-implied bake sale, a campus wide apology was in order, deeming the act to be exactly what it was, blatantly offensive. Secondly, this act of vandalism is being taken care of by DePaul University's Judicial Review Process. My favorite part of this story, Kate Edwards and everyone else with you lost in right field, is that the names of these students, who willingly came forward to admit participation, have now been targeted and harassed because of all these articles, including the one in which you provided their names. I am ashamed to be a member of DePaul University's student body because of this constant back and forth. The University took care of these events in a manner that is appropriate, and I am proud of their reactions. One thing I think all of you right-wing conservatives should remember is that, yes you have the freedom to speak, which you demonstrated with your obnoxious, and frankly useless, display of your pro-life position, but no one wants to listen to this debate. Having a display in the Quad doesn't convince anyone to support pro-life. In fact, no one even understood what the display was; most students assumed it was a sorority display. I'm not even a liberal, so I hope you take this to heart; quit being so in people's faces. The time and place for debate is not for a college campus where your ridiculous overreactions have permanently damaged the lives of many students. You continually disrupt DePaul with your bake sales and flags, so take it from me, a true Moderate: you are the cause of all your struggles, and if you would stop provoking people who just want to go to class without having to step through a display that only your organization and political ideologists support, DePaul University can heal its reputation. If you want a debate, have a civilized conversation with your adversaries, but don't be so ridiculous that your groups want to pursue legal action, and say things like the students "deserve" their harassment. Would a "petulant irresponsible" child willingly come forward and accept the consequences of their wrongdoing?
      Posted by Winston Sayre on 02/14/2013
    • So basically you had a bake-sale to show that you were actually a fucking racist and got mad when the University was like sorry we don't support your racism? Conservatives might be the dumbest people on planet Earth.
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