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

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.

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