Saturday, October 02, 2004
On this day:

Tax Dollars and Tuition at Work at University of Alabama

The University of Alabama Board of Trustees recently approved a 12.2% tuition hike, but University President Robert E. Witt recently stated that he remains committed to "modest and steady" tuition increases in the coming years. While President Witt continues to demand more money from students and their parents, however, it appears that he has no objection to spending UA's supposedly scarce resources in support of left-wing activism on campus.

Today's exhibit: The University of Alabama Women's Resource Center website lists "Social Justice" as an integral part of its mission. It proceeds to define "Social Justice" as "actively seeking the end of oppression based on gender, race, religion, ethnicity, class, sexual orientation, age, and physical and mental abilities." (Great...Here we go...another oppression-monger.)

It's history is covered in a section of the website called "Our Herstory." (Awww...ain't that cute?) It indicates that the Women's Center (now the Women's Resource Center) came into existence when it was determined that the Women's Studies Department was unable to fulfill its feminist political agenda on its own. (The Women's Studies Department at the University of Alabama is housed in Manly Hall, by the way.)

Now, don't get me wrong. Some of the services the Women's Resource Center provides are non-political and even admirable. But, much of the work it does is oriented toward promoting a liberal political agenda and a culture of victimization among women and minorities.

For example, it created an organization called "Students for Gender Justice", whose mission it is to "provide a mechanism for activism in addition to peer education." Immediately, a question arises as to the propriety of dedicating University funds and resources to "activism" of any sort.

Another organization associated with the Women's Resource Center, the "Alliance for Women of Color," is dedicated to:

  1. building community and connections that will increase cross-cultural understanding;
  2. becoming more aware of information and resources about the university and broader community through networking, presentations, and programs; creating connections with others to help eliminate isolation and increase support;
  3. identifying potential barriers women of color may encounter in institutions and society and offering strategies for eliminating such barriers;
  4. sharing stories and experiences through culturally affirming ways;
  5. participating in mentoring relationships that promote the professional development of women of color.

Under "Women's Issues", each of the links to "Organizations for Women" are to those of a decidedly liberal political perspective: The Feminist Majority Foundation, the National Organization for Women (NOW), the National Association of Women in Education, the Global Fund for Women, the League of Women Voters, and the American Association of University Women. Also included is a link to Women's Studies departments and Women's Centers across the country, none of whom would ever be caught harboring a conservative dissident.

To add insult to injury, the University incessantly complains that it does not have enough money. To raise public awareness, the administration organizes and promotes demonstrations demanding that state taxes be raised. The President of the University states (or is it threatens?) that he is committed to "modest and steady" tuition increases in the coming years. The University actively solicits alumni for donations via letters, phone calls, and e-mail.

The fact that the University can sit back with a straight face and ask for ever-increasing amounts of money while it disburses funding so liberally is unconsionable. In general, one of the last places to look for "common sense" would be to the government of Alabama, but it has reached that point. It is time that our "conservative" Governor and state legislature force Alabama's public colleges and universities to cut off the funds for leftist political activities on their campuses.