Phi Beta Cons

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Pro-Life Controversy, This Time at UNC


New campus, same story. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill welcomed the Students for Life’s Planned Parenthood Tour with the vitriol usually reserved for Duke fans during basketball season. Not only was a box full of materials stolen (presumably by pro-abortion partisans), but pro-choice advocates proudly tweeted about tearing up the group’s flyers and, even better, a graduate teaching assistant approached the group yelling that their event was “horses**t” and that the students were “spreading lies.”

It’s true, as a representative from the group reported, that many of the pro-choice advocates were respectful. But the reaction by a number of pro-choice students was telling. A post on the official “Spotted at UNC-Chapel Hill” Facebook page succinctly summed up their attitude: “Anyone know if the anti-Planned Parenthood crosses are still on the ground in the quad? Because I’d love to go rip them out right now.” This post received almost 200 “likes.”

The university was understandably circumspect, responding to my queries regarding the incident by affirming the university’s support for free speech and civil campus dialogue. The episode at UNC comes on the heels of two other high-profile pro-life campus controversies. In February, Kristopher del Campo, president of DePaul University’s Young Americans for Freedom chapter was put on probation for publicizing the names of students who vandalized YAF’s memorial to aborted babies. In March, Johns Hopkins University Student Government denied recognition to the university’s pro-life group. That decision was ultimately overturned by the student judiciary.

For UNC at least, it doesn’t look like things will be getting any better. When left-wing students interrupted a campus event at Dartmouth, interim president (and UNC chancellor-elect) Carol Folt canceled classes for a day of discussion. Not a good precedent for the students who acted immaturely this year — perhaps next year they will feel emboldened to actually disrupt the event safe in the knowledge that the new administration will fold.


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