Collegiate Network – Members – 2000 Campus Outrage Awards:

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1. San Diego State University: One of the required courses to enter the graduate teaching-credential program at San Diego State is Introduction to Multicultural Education. In this class, students must participate in “cultural plunges,” in which each student must put himself into uncomfortable situations to learn “tolerance.” Students must visit a place that is mostly populated with gays and lesbians, such as a gay bar or club, and, if they are white, an all-black church to see how being the only white person feels. During one class session, each student has to recite aloud before the group in Maoist education camp fashion, “I am gay” or “I am lesbian” (regardless of whether or not he is) and then describe how it feels to be gay in various discriminatory situations.

2. Cornell University: Resident Advisors at Cornell hosted a “Roman Orgy” party in a campus dormitory—with funding from student fees. While organizers suggested that the party would consist of just massages and snacks, it was not long before the clothes started to come off. RA’s even set the mood: dimmed lights, incense, and a bowl of condoms. Cornell tuition money sponsored a real orgy, the organizers were let off without punishment, and the dorm’s judgment was that it was “a very positive and good event,” according to a student quoted in the Cornell Daily Sun.

3. Student Government at University of Wisconsin-Madison: University of Wisconsin’s student government excessively spent student fees (tuition dollars) on various items, including fine restaurants, luxury hotels, valet parking, and junk food. Last year’s expenses included more than $29,000 spent on travel. Last fall, the finance committee approved funding for $50 worth of tobacco to be purchased for a campus organization, even as it launched its anti-smoking movement.

4. University of Texas administration: UT canceled a scheduled speech by Henry Kissinger. During the few weeks before his arrival, campus protesters beat their message out: Henry Kissinger is nothing more than a war criminal. The Radical Action Network protested during the weeks leading up to the event, covered the campus with flyers, and held a teach-in to spread their message that Kissinger doesn’t belong at UT. In the end, the UT administration caved in to the pressure from the protesters and canceled Kissinger’s speech, claiming that his speaking on campus would cause an outbreak of violence and endanger the people in the auditorium. The UT administration has a history of suppressing free speech; last year, UT police simply watched as protesters disrupted Ward Connerly as he debated affirmative action.

5. Harvard and Yale (tied): When Yale’s gay/lesbian club discovered satirical posters on campus celebrating “Gay Avarice Week,” “Gay Sloth Week,” and “Gay Lust Week,” in response to the campus’s celebration of “Gay Pride Week,” club members tore them down and complained to the administration. Yale’s top brass reacted predictably by claiming it was a hateful attack by “a very few sick individuals” (Yale Herald) and vowing that if the author were revealed, he would be taken to the Executive Committee charged with policing alleged harassment. At rival Harvard, the gay/lesbian club plastered the campus with posters and flyers celebrating National Coming Out Day. Some students believed that the publicly placed materials were, at best, obscene and that some were pornographic. Harvard’s administration refused to stand up to the activists by claiming that the true issue was the protection of free speech. The administrations of these Ivy League schools reacted differently in the two cases: favored groups can get away with public displays of pornography, but anyone satirizing protected groups faces the wrath of officials in high places.