19 November 2002
What's a "Culture Representative"? At Tufts University in Medford (pronounced something like "Meffuhd"), Massachusetts, it's a reserved minority slot in the student government, intended to ensure that those who have been historically underrepresented have some sort of voice and some sort of recourse against abuse.
Enter Rob Lichter. Writing in the Tufts Daily, he disclosed the existence of a previously-ignored minority:
Conservatives are a distinct minority here at Tufts, and consequently, the concerns of our community are not adequately represented. Conservative students have been harrassed and physically assaulted, their media stolen and vandalized. Hate messages have been scrawled on bathroom walls and dorm whiteboards, and individuals have been verbally berated and ridiculed.... Has the Senate passed a resolution asking for dialogue with conservatives? No. Has the Bias Response Team [considered] these problems with the same seriousness they show other minorities? No.
Jeff Jacoby, in an op-ed in The Boston Globe, is sympathetic:
Real diversity encompasses the spectrum of human variety a vast array of tastes and talents, beliefs and backgrounds, passions and personalities. What passes for diversity on campus and wherever the left holds sway is an impoverished fraud. Depressing that it should still be necessary to say so.
Meanwhile, Lichter and other conservatives at Tufts continue to pursue a Culture Representative position, motivated by the not-exactly-unspoken desire to undermine the whole system. There's a faint hint of "We had to destroy the village in order to save it" here, but nobody said the process was going to be either easy or pleasant.
(Muchas gracias: Erin O'Connor.)