Penn State Deletes Tweet Welcoming Conservative Students After Outcry

imagesToday we discussed the formal censuring of a conservative student at Georgetown for his criticism of Black Lives Matter as an organization and his objections to a recent ruling by the Supreme Court. Georgetown University has remained silent as the student has been declared a racist and the student government called for his investigation.  At Penn State, the university took an important step in this time of rising intolerance and actually included conservative students in a welcoming message.  It did not last.  After an outcry from students, the university deleted the tweet — thereby sending precisely the opposite message to conservative students.

Penn State University went out a tweet affirming the inclusive environment at the school that included welcoming messages for a wide variety of student groups including a line stating “Dear conservative students. Your viewpoints are important.”

Students reacted with outrage at the notion of expressly welcoming conservative students to campus. For example, the student newspaper, reported that “student Cassandra Nuñez said the experiences of conservative students and students of color cannot not be presented as equal in any way.” She is quoted as writing “Conservatives in the United States do not live in a system that was built from the blood and trauma of their ancestors — a system that continues to put down people who look like [their ancestors] every day.” There was no objection to other groups being welcomed, just the conservative students.

Rather than reinforce its support for students of color, the university yielded to demands and actually withdrew its welcoming statement to conservatives.  The explanation was perfectly Orwellian. Penn State Director of Strategic Communications William Hessert, Jr stated that the school wanted “to express the inclusive, democratic and participatory values of the liberal arts.” However, the “message was not being received well and it is important for us that our messages be received as intended.”  To unpack this: we wanted to assure conservative students with other students that they are welcomed but many disagreed with their inclusion in that sentiment.  So we deleted the welcome.

Hessert told one site “While we do not believe in deleting our posts, given the sensitivities of the matter we felt that it was better to remove it.”

There was another possibility. Be more inclusive rather than exclusive. I would have preferred an additional reference for liberal or progressive students or even libertarians.  The point is that Penn State celebrates its rich diversity of viewpoints, experiences, and culture.

There is a very good reason to reach out to conservative students given the rising intolerance for opposing views on our campuses.  As we discussed recently, polling shows that conservative students are much more fearful of expressing themselves in classes and on campuses due to a lack of support — and often outright hostility — from administrators and faculty. The ham-handed action of Penn State took an important gesture of inclusivity and turned it into a chilling messaging of hostility for conservative students who want to join their community.


94 thoughts on “Penn State Deletes Tweet Welcoming Conservative Students After Outcry”

  1. Guess they all want everyone to wear grey PJs opposing views allowed

    1. If I were a conservative parent I would not give that school another dime there are other places my children could go to school!
      The staff is nothing but a bunch of sissys.
      This also says you are going to teach only what you feel is safe to teach ! What a slap in the face helping our turn into a socialist country! Shame on you for disappointing our real American children!
      So in today’s world you are more interested in quieting down the baby’s having their temper tantrums and fits of screaming and violence instead of teaching truth!
      How sad that our adults have been brainwashed into socialism, you should know better!

      1. I’m sympathetic, now recall

        1. 73% of all students attend in-state, and all but an odd minority attend public institutions in-state. Attending out of state schools and private schools is a sacrifice and one many families cannot make.

        2. In-state, you’ve got your choice of teaching and research institutions. Unless a state system has a de facto or de jure honors college, the research institutions are generally the more selective, the ones students with more vigor in the classroom are drawn to, and the ones more likely to carry certain niche programs.

        3. In Pennsylvania, you’ve got your choice of three public research institutions. Now, do you think the administration at Temple or at the University of Pittsburgh would have been less likely to have deleted that tweet?

  2. University administrators are pusillanimous spineless moneygrubbing intellectual black holes. This just in. I hope the conservative students at Penn State take their business (which is what education has become) elsewhere. Money talks, you know what walks.

  3. What happened to your blog Jonathon? It has been infested with the out of touch. The same people who drove me TO the Republican Party. Have YOU seen the light yet? President Trump received my first R vote ever and I’m voting for him again. The party of JFK is now the party of Marxists.

  4. Neff was Tucker Carlson’s cheif wroiter for 4 years, and recently discovered to have been posting that long on racists threads in racists ways under another name. He just “resigned”.

    “…In a recent article in the Dartmouth Alumni Magazine, Neff said, “Anything [Carlson is] reading off the teleprompter, the first draft was written by me.” He also acknowledged the show’s influence, telling the magazine, “We’re very aware that we do have that power to sway the conversation, so we try to use it responsibly.”

    When asked in a 2018 appearance on Fox’s “The Five” about the writing process for his show, Carlson said he spends hours working on scripts, but referred to Neff by name, saying he was a “wonderful writer” and acknowledging his assistance. And Carlson credited Neff in the acknowledgments of his book, “Ship of Fools,” for providing research. In the acknowledgments, Carlson said that Neff and two others who helped with the book “work on and greatly improve our nightly show on Fox.””

    I guess that’s how we get the patriotism questioned of someone who left 2 legs in Iraq serving in a war sissy frat boy Carlson helped W sell and now critiques the cannon fodder.

    1. Thanks for the laughs. Gotta love it when an Orange Man Bad minion posts a screed that has nothing to do with the subject at hand. A person who’s hate is so out of control that they can’t STFU! It really is comical in a pathetic sort of way. Anything to sink the ship, no matter how intellectually dishonest it is.

      1. I’m not subject to JT’s Trump message discipline, and like the rest of the country not looking for distractions from a blatant obstruction of justice act – payoff for not being a “rat” – and the unmasking of the out front racist who’s been running frat boy Carlson’s “brain trust”, don’t GAF about NY Educational whatever. But hey, you enjoy! No monsters underthe bed.

  5. “ study stifles-free-speech-and-conservative-students-are-300-times-more-likely-to-self-censure-views“ if you can’t defend your position honestly then change your position

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