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Report: University Students Erect Anti-Socialism Display. The University Won’t Investigate To See Who Removed It.

A college conservative group erected an anti-socialism display at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte, only to have someone remove it. When the students brought the matter before the university, the university reportedly declined to investigate the matter.

As Emma Schambach, the founding chairwoman of Young Americans for Freedom at UNC Charlotte, wrote for the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal, her group discussed the pros and cons of socialism and capitalism in October; when they decided they opposed socialism and noted that their perspective was opposed in class and around the campus. They “created a display of 21 cardboard tombstones, each representing a country with the number of lives lost in that country due to socialist ideologies.”

Schambach continued that on October 14, she contacted various university offices that might have removed the display. She adds, “The student organizations office said they had not been involved in the removal, but pointed us to the reservations office to ensure that the space we used had not been reserved for another organization.” They were informed that they had not acquired a reservation required for the display.

Schambach pointed out that in September, the group had attempted to acquire a reservation for a 9/11 display, but because the appropriate office had not responded, the group erected the display anyway, and not only had no one protested, it had remained there for a week and college officials praised it.

Next stop after having visited the reservations office was facility management, which said it had not removed the anti-socialist display. After discovering that the school had no cameras that covered the area where the anti-socialism display had been mounted, the assistant vice chancellor contacted the group and informed them, according to Schambach, that very little would be offered to assist the group in reclaiming the display or identifying who removed it. The group was informed they could attempt to get a reservation, rebuild the display and present it.

Schambach concluded:

Our club is concerned, though, that the students who trampled on our right to free speech will go unpunished. The goal is not to ruin a student’s life who trashed a political display they opposed. Rather, the goal is to ensure all students’ political views receive the same protections on UNC Charlotte’s campus … This failure to identify or reprimand the vandal sets a dangerous precedent: It may indicate that the university, though not officially stifling free speech, will allow students to compromise the free speech of others. Our display can be replaced, but a weak response to protecting free speech can have a chilling effect on unpopular opinions — whether of the political left or the political right.

In September, the UNC Charlotte held a “white privilege” workshop in which its organizers wrote, “Understanding the meaning and implications of whiteness and engaging in anti-racist practice is crucial in creating racial equity. This space is for all undergraduate and graduate students at UNC Charlotte who are interested in engaging in conversations to assist in their understanding of how racism is perpetuated individually, culturally, and systemically.” The College Fix reported, “The total number of students in the audience for the first ‘White Consciousness Conversation,’ held Sept. 10, was nine — but two were students there not as participants but as journalists mainly to observe. One was from The College Fix and another from the Niner Times campus newspaper.”

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