University silences conservatives, turns blind eye to law-breaking leftists

Bill Gilles and Sean Niemic

On Thursday, September 4th, four members of the student group, Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), interrupted President BruininksâÄôs convocation speech to the freshmen class. Dropping fliers and hanging banners from the top level of Mariucci Arena, SDS used air horns and began yelling to interrupt the PresidentâÄôs speech. According to SDS organizer Grace Kelly âÄúThe demonstrators entered Mariucci a few days earlier in order to prop open doors and make sure they could bypass security. We had to infiltrate the building,âÄù circumventing the security of the arena and breaking many University rules in the process. While they were clearly disruptive, President Bruininks has publicly assured that the students would receive no academic punishment. According to the Minnesota Daily, âÄúThe demonstrators will not be facing academic discipline, Bruininks said after Convocation.âÄù At the end of the spring 2009 semester, four conservative students from Collegians for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT) attempted to attend a meeting regarding the allocation of much desired student group office space in Coffman Memorial Union. While there, the conservative students quietly and respectfully sat in chairs observing the meeting while the Board of Governors (BOG) voted to close the meeting. At the previous closed meeting, the BOG reversed a decision to grant CFACT office space and exhibited disregard for the stated standards for allocating space. The CFACT members continued to sit silently, observing the closed meeting. The meeting was eventually adjourned, but complaints were filed against the CFACT members, alleging they had violated the Student Conduct Code with claims of exhibiting âÄúdisruptive behavior.âÄù Eventually the BOG found a private space where another meeting was called to order, which violated the BOGâÄôs own constitutional requirement for a 48-hour meeting notice. SDS members, in their own words, broke into a locked building, stole University property, and were intentionally disruptive. SDS members shouted down one of the University PresidentâÄôs largest addresses of the year and received no punishment. While SDS will not be punished, CFACT members face disciplinary charges for âÄúdisruptive behaviorâÄù that according to the University notice, could lead to âÄúrevocation of admission or degree.âÄù Bill Gilles University alumnus and National Director of CFACT Sean Niemic University undergraduate student and Vice President of CFACT