by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Magdalene Horzempa writes for the Martin Center about UNC-Chapel Hill’s support for “social justice” protesters.
Campus protests started in the 1960s, but protests on today’s college campuses have a different vibe. While protests in the past pitted students against university leadership, protests in the present are supported and accommodated by presidents and administrators.
At the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, for example, college officials waste resources on political activism and social justice projects housed within the Campus Y, Chapel Hill’s “hub for social justice.”
Although a substantial portion of its revenues come from gifts and the University Foundation, the Campus Y benefits from its status as an official part of the university as well as generous university funding. Its primary purpose is to push progressive politics to all students on campus, from freshman orientation through graduation. If UNC-Chapel Hill bankrolled a right-wing campus organization that encouraged students to hold pro-life protests, take gap years to work for conservative politicians, and otherwise shaped students to teach them about “conservative philosophy and activism,” the outrage would be constant. Yet, when all the above is done for “social justice” and left-wing causes, nothing seems amiss.
Founded in 1860, the Campus Y “is the longest standing Y in the nation” and has housed intramural sports, the yearbook, student stores, and served as the headquarters of the Daily Tar Heel. The Campus Y building itself is no longer a space for students to meet and engage in sports and other activities—now, it’s a social justice echo-chamber.
The Campus Y’s mission is “to engage students, the UNC campus, and communities in the pursuit of social justice.”