Campus Conservatives Unite: National
Conference at North Carolina State

BY JOHN T. PLECNIK: The Conservative Voice

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

The John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy, formerly affiliated with the John Locke Foundation, will be hosting its annual policy conference at North Carolina State University on Saturday, October 16, 2004. The topic: "Freedom and the American Campus." Led by Director George Leef, Esq., the Pope Center hopes to bring "innovative thinking and critical analysis" to higher education.

The first "College Abuse Conference for Free Speech" was hosted by then-congressional candidate "Whit" Whitfield in Durham, N.C. Scholars and students from across the country assembled to discuss academia's chronic liberal bias. The October 16 conference is highly reminiscent of Whitfield's original. The coordinator of the first conference, Dr. Christina Jeffrey of Coastal Carolina University, will be speaking at the NCSU event. A former congressional candidate and U.S. House Historian, Dr. Jeffrey brings considerable perspective to any gathering.

Dr. Candace de Russy, a trustee of the State University of New York System, is also a veteran from the previous conference. Known for countless quotes in the 'Sunday paper' and her appearances on Fox News, Dr. Russy has been fighting the good fight against liberal bias for some time.

Other speakers include Dr. Michael Gillespie of Duke University, Dr. Alan C. Kors of the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. James Miller of Smith College, Dr. Norman Hurley of the University of North Carolina, and Dr. Roger E. Meiners of the University of Texas at Arlington.

David Horowitz, president of the Center for the Study of Popular Culture and chief editor of FrontPageMag.com, will also be making an appearance. Horowitz gained wide recognition for lobbying state legislators to adopt his 'Academic Bill of Rights,' a document designed to take the political bent out of university curriculum and prevent liberal indoctrination. Recently, Colorado's system of public universities voluntarily adopted significant portions of the 'Academic Bill of Rights.' Granted, the system only began moving after Republican lawmakers threatened to vote on Horowitz's proposals.

Even the guest list is noteworthy. Rachel Lea Hunter, Republican candidate for North Carolina Supreme Court, will attend the event with several of her supporters and campaign staff. "Madame Justice" has run on two issues: stopping judicial activism and ending liberal bias on campus. Hunter has offered her legal services to any student in North Carolina who is discriminated against for his or her political beliefs.

Throughout all my opinion on liberal bias against campus conservatives, I always fall to one repeated refrain: "Awareness is the first condition for real reform, and the need for reform is nationwide."

Campus conservatives owe a great debt of gratitude to Director Leef of the Pope Center. Utilizing such venues as the Clarion Call and Carolina Journal (widely circulated conservative newsletters), Leef has argued on behalf of conservative students and faculty for years. In so doing, he has promoted awareness for years. Though Duke and UNC may be among the most blatantly biased institutions in the nation, at least parents and alumni are waking up to that reality.

Conservative columnists like Leef must never stop forcing the issue. Conservative politicians like U.S. Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.) must never stop forcing the issue. College Republicans (and Libertarians) must never stop forcing the issue. Together, we are big enough to take on the ivory tower…

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