Prof calls NRA terrorist organization following Texas massacre

Almost immediately after the Santa Fe High School shooting, a professor at Virginia Tech tweeted that the National Rifle Association (NRA) is a “terrorist organization.”

Matthew Gabriele, a professor of Medieval Studies, tweeted that “The NRA is a terrorist organization” just hours after the Santa Fe shooting, which killed 10 people. 

This is not the first time that Gabriele has sparked controversy with his tweets, however.

In December, as Campus Reform reported, the professor tweeted that “The modern GOP is nothing but white supremacy,” and in a previous tweet he declared that the 2017 Republican candidate for Governor of Virginia, Ed Gillespie, ran a “racist campaign.”

“@EdWGillespie is running a racist campaign. Kneeling. Confederate statues. BS immigration fears. Pedophiles. Gillespie has no honor #vagov,” tweeted the professor.

The professor also previously tweeted a link to an article about a controversial Latino Victory Fund ad against Gillespie, and asks “Why don’t you admit your entire party runs racist, fearful campaigns?”

Campus Reform reached out to Gabriele for comment on his latest tweet, but has not received a response.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @asabes10

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UMich claims free speech lawsuit has mistaken premises

The University of Michigan is vowing to fight back against a lawsuit accusing the school of using its harassment and “bias” policies to stifle free expression on campus.

In a statement posted on its website, the university strongly denies the claims made in a lawsuit filed earlier in the month by Speech First, which challenges the school’s Bias Response Team and contends that UMich “has a disciplinary code that prohibits ‘harassment’ and ‘bullying,’ and increases the penalties if such actions are motivated by ‘bias.’”

The Speech First lawsuit specifically cites the school’s Bias Response Team as “a grave threat to free expression at the University,” saying it is “unconstitutional under the doctrines of overbreadth, vagueness, and prior restraints.”

[RELATED: Watchdog takes UMich to court over ‘subjective’ speech code]

However, UMich claims that Speech First “mischaracterized” its policies and programs, asserting that Speech First has framed the policies in a way that “does not reflect the true vibrancy of debate and discussion on campus,” and insisting that “there is nothing in university policy that inhibits students from expressing their views on any topic.”

UMich also said it has asked the judge to give its lawyers until June 25 to file their opposition to a motion for preliminary injunction filed by the plaintiff, which would force the school to suspend the policies in question while the case is being deliberated.

The university also created several supplementary resources, including a page titled “Free Speech On Campus,” which articulates the school’s rhetorical commitment to free speech and proudly links to a list of speakers who have brought “diverse viewpoints and perspectives” to campus, going all the way back to 1991.

The webpage also defends the Bias Response Team, claiming that it is “just one resource to help us achieve our goal of creating an inclusive, respectful, and welcoming environment, where all voices can be heard.”

[RELATED: University shuts down bias reporting system after complaint]

Nicole Neily, president and founder of Speech First, told Campus Reform that U-M cannot both maintain a Bias Response Team and “NOT chill students' speech and expression.”


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Pomona students Campus climate chills speech

On Friday morning, Pomona College President Gabrielle Starr sent an email to the student body announcing the results of a Gallup survey on student and faculty perceptions of speech and campus climate conducted by a Task Force on Public Dialogue established by the college’s board of trustees. The survey found that nearly 90 percent of students surveyed believe that the campus climate prevents them from saying something others might find offensive.

The task force—which consists of trustees, faculty, the dean of students, and the junior and senior class presidents—was established to “look for ways for Pomona to be a leader in developing an educational model that speaks to the twenty-first century, and that does not just allow for free expression, but combines support of free speech and democratic ideals with a commitment to ensuring an equitable and inclusive environment for all students.”

The Gallup survey the task force commissioned—to which approximately 35 percent of Pomona students and 66 percent of Pomona faculty responded—asked respondents questions on political allegiance, demographics, attitudes toward speech on campus, and perceptions of campus climate.

Most students identified as liberal, with only 16 percent identifying as moderate and three percent identifying as conservative. Faculty figures were similar, with 14 percent of faculty identifying as moderate and four percent as conservative.

[RELATED: SURVEY: Today's freshmen most liberal since the Vietnam War]

Half of Pomona students thought that colleges should restrict certain types of speech, and another half thought that students should be exposed to all types of speech. Nationally, students were 27 percent more likely to support all types of speech. Faculty were also more open to free speech, with 63 percent supporting colleges prioritizing exposing students to all types of speech.

Twenty five percent of students thought that the college should be able to restrict political views that are “offensive,” while only 15 percent of faculty supported this restriction. Less than half of faculty supported restricting costumes that “stereotype certain racial or ethnic groups,” while 65 percent of students supported such restrictions.

On attitudes toward current speech policies, 28 percent of Pomona students thought the policies were not restrictive enough, while only 13 percent of faculty thou

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Ivy League law school hiring Director of Social Justice

The University of Pennsylvania Law School will soon become the first in the Ivy League to retain a high-level administrator to promote “social justice” on campus.  

The new Director of Social Justice Programs will work at the Law School’s Toll Public Interest Center (TPIC), where they will collaborate with students, faculty, and local nonprofits to increase opportunities related to “social justice” for Law students. 

“The Director will design and implement the comprehensive array of programs that will manifest in curriculum for scholars, fellows, and the broader social justice community at Penn Law,” the May 15 job posting indicates. 

[RELATED: Stanford hiring admin to ‘advance social justice’ on campus]

As Campus Reform has reported, “social justice” administrators at other universities are frequently dispatched throughout campus to facilitate trainings on privilege, implicit bias, and microaggressions, as well as to plan community events for student minorities. 

Though neither the TPIC nor Penn Law responded to inquiries from Campus Reform about the nature of what “social justice” may entail, the TPIC has historically coordinated a variety of left-leaning service opportunities. 

One key to public service is activism, according to the TPIC, which encourages students to get involved in resisting against a variety of Trump-era proposals on issues like immigration, government-funded healthcare, and welfare benefits.

“President Trump’s proposed budget calls for massive cuts to 'entitlement programs' including SNAP (formerly food stamps),” the Penn Law web page warns, calling on students to “take action” to protect SNAP along with the Coalition Against Hunger.

The school also recently encouraged students to “Resist Trump’s agenda,” claiming that “We believe Trump’s agenda is racist, authoritarian, and corrupt, and it must be stopped,” and inviting students to rally at a public event in Philadelphia to resist it. 

[RELATED: Profs puzzled that conservatives resist social justice courses]

Not all of the Center’s activism is against Trump, it should be noted. Penn Law also boasts of pro-bono programs that help survivors of sexual and domestic abuse, help parents negotiate child custody disputes, and mentor high-school student

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Liberals hold 41 edge among 2018 commencement speakers

Liberal commencement speakers will outnumber conservatives by nearly four-to-one at 50 of the nation’s largest colleges this year.

Campus Reform catalogued the commencement speakers selected by 50 of the largest public and private four-year colleges in the nation, excluding community colleges and online institutions, and researched the political views of each speaker. 

Including schools with multiple speakers, Campus Reform identified 37 speakers with demonstrably liberal leanings, compared to just 10 verified conservatives. Only four speakers could be classified as political moderates, two of whom—Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood of the country music group Lady Antebellum—were invited to speak at the same ceremony.

Nine of the schools traditionally select internal speakers, such as a high-ranking administrator or standout graduate, and five other speakers do not have identifiable political leanings. Campus Reform was unable to ascertain the identity of the commencement speakers at Portland State University and California State University, Long Beach despite multiple inquiries.

[RELATED: Dems dominate commencement despite electoral defeat]

While only six of the conservative speakers are current or former Republican elected officials, at least 12 of the left-leaning speakers were Democratic or radically progressive politicians.

Among those representing the GOP are Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman, Purdue University President (and former Indiana Governor) Mitch Daniels, Texas House Speaker Joe Strauss, and Texas Supreme Court Justice James Blacklock.

The roster of Democrats, on the other hand, features even more prominent names, including former President Jimmy Carter, former Vice President Al Gore, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, U.S. Representative John Lewis, and U.S. Senators Cory Booker and Kamala Harris.

Notably, universities known for their liberal leanings, such as New York University, the University of Maryland, and Florida International University, stayed within their comfort zones by selecting uniformly left-leaning speakers. Conservative darling Liberty University, on the other hand, invited perhaps the most prominent liberal on the list: Jimmy Carter.

[RELATED: Ivies snub conservatives at commencement for third straight year]

Many of the speakers were public figures with left-wing affiliations but less overtly poli

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