Penn State Welcomes Conservatives, Then Takes it Back
Penn State, Poltroonery
Jonathan Turley has another amusing news item from the contemporary Academy.
At Penn State, the university took an important step in this time of rising intolerance and actually included conservative students in a welcoming message. It did not last. After an outcry from students, the university deleted the tweet â€” thereby sending precisely the opposite message to conservative students.
Penn State University sent out a tweet affirming the inclusive environment at the school that included welcoming messages for a wide variety of student groups including a line stating â€œDear conservative students. Your viewpoints are important.â€
Students reacted with outrage at the notion of expressly welcoming conservative students to campus. For example, the student newspaper, reported that â€œstudent Cassandra NuÃ±ez said the experiences of conservative students and students of color cannot not be presented as equal in any way.â€ She is quoted as writing â€œConservatives in the United States do not live in a system that was built from the blood and trauma of their ancestors â€” a system that continues to put down people who look like [their ancestors] every day.â€ There was no objection to other groups being welcomed, just the conservative students.
Rather than reinforce its support for students of color, the university yielded to demands and actually withdrew its welcoming statement to conservatives. The explanation was perfectly Orwellian. Penn State Director of Strategic Communications William Hessert, Jr stated that the school wanted â€œto express the inclusive, democratic and participatory values of the liberal arts.â€ However, the â€œmessage was not being received well and it is important for us that our messages be received as intended.â€ To unpack this: we wanted to assure conservative students with other students that they are welcomed but many disagreed with their inclusion in that sentiment. So we deleted the welcome.
Hessert told one site â€œWhile we do not believe in deleting our posts, given the sensitivities of the matter we felt that it was better to remove it.â€
All the way down to the level of Penn State and beyond our establishment institutions are in the hands of weasels and invertebrates.