Campus Y Facebook Page Also Not in Compliance With the Law

CRDaily

To be honest, this was the aspect of this advertising campaign that was the most interesting. The issue of the website was fairly cut and dry, but I was kind of curious to see how the university views Facebook pages. I received this email from UNC’s General Counsel:

Dear Mr. Seelinger,

I am writing in reference to your inquiry regarding the reference to Amendment One on the Campus Y’s Facebook page.

Although the student committees in the Campus Y have a long-standing history of taking a stance on social justice issues, state law prohibits them from using University equipment, resources or services, such as computer networks or websites, to promote support for or to oppose an issue in an election.  The Campus Y committees may, however, encourage early voting.  I am working with the staff in the Campus Y to revise the messaging in the Facebook header to better reflect the applicable law and the importance of early voting.

I think the issue of interest here is the “authority and prestige” argument presented in my first post. There are many forms by which a university unit may communicate: email, websites, fliers, etc. Facebook is simply another medium.

Looks Like Campus Y Was Breaking the Law

CRDaily

After I sent an inquiry (yesterday) over to UNC’s legal team regarding recent actions by the Campus Y, the Y’s website appears to have undergone a few cosmetic changes. Most notably, any reference to Amendment 1 has been scrubbed from the site. I’m still waiting on an official response from UNC’s General Counsel, but it looks like I knew what I was talking about after all. Anyone who accused me of being an awful human being/bigot/homophobe/liar for raising this issue can feel free to post an apology below.

Evidence Increasingly Suggests Campus Y Breaking the Law

CRDaily

The Campus Y was kind enough to post a response to my last post (also take a look at this) via Facebook. For the sake of simplicity, I’ve posted it below:

Darling Marc and CR Daily,

In response to your article (ow.ly/axr7m), we would like to share the following with you….

a) the Y is a student organization and has a budget (which helps fund our website) independent of university funding;

b) We never knew the Y’s Facebook page was owned by the state of North Carolina

c) we are the CENTER FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE; OF COURSE WE OPPOSE THE AMENDMENT!

#sorryweareREALLYnotsorry

WITH LOVE,

Jagir Patel and Mackenzie Thomas

Co-Presidents of the Campus Y who are STRONGLY AGAINST AMENDMENT ONE.

So, let’s address these points one by one, shall we?

A) ” the Y is a student organization and has a budget (which helps fund our website) independent of university funding”

Interesting claim, considering that the Y also has several paid employees of the University running the place. I’ve compiled a list of the relevant persons and their respective university-paid salaries below (all data taken from the University of North Carolina Salary Database):

1. Richard Harrill, Director: $61,000

2. Lucy Lewis, Assistant Director and Director of the Bonnor Leader Program: $46,886 (plus a $2344 non-state salary)

There are other university employees who work at the Y, but these two are the two that the University General Administration classifies as receiving their salaries from the Campus Y Department (though, I’m reliably told that the better word to use is “Division”). If the UNC GA classifies the Y as a division, that’s good enough for me.

B) “We never knew the Y’s Facebook page was owned by the state of North Carolina”

Well, you might consider reading the UNC Policy Manual, particularly Policy 105. The relevant part is, “Political Activity: Political activity by University employees is regulated by Federal and State law and University policy. No employee may use University funds, vehicles, equipment, supplies, or other resources in connection with partisan political activities. This includes the use of University electronic resources” Note that this also calls into question their use of the university website.

C) “we are the CENTER FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE; OF COURSE WE OPPOSE THE AMENDMENT!”

Right.

Campus Y Not?

CRDaily
New Campus Y logo?

Campus Y logo?

The Campus Y has taken away its decades old requirement that it have one male and one female serve as co-presidents.  The policy was instituted in order to prevent discrimination against women who were, back in the day, a minority here at UNC.

Some might argue that the change is not in keeping with the Y’s commitment to diversity.  However, is diversity for the sake of diversity a good thing?  What if, as there are this year, there are three candidates running?  One person inevitably runs unopposed.  The qualification is merely one’s gender.

Not to beat a dead elephant, but UNC seems to be a slow learner on the subject:   diversity is not a virtue.  It is, in fact, an unsustainable policy (if an organization is  be taken seriously) as the Campus Y finally figured out.  Besides, who hasn’t noticed that the line at Lenoir is 85% female?  It’s the men who need affirmative action.

Also, if they are obsessed with being committed to “social justice through the cultivation of pluralism,” perhaps the Y could focus on other areas of diversity.  For example, why not have at least one co-president who does not carry a red-card in his wallet?