President’s Message – September 2018
Our youngest son is a senior at a small liberal arts college in Memphis. The Newton children attended very liberal leaning institutions and graduated with their conservative ideological beliefs still intact, a task not so small and one of which I am very proud. Recently, Joe and I were in Memphis for our very last parent’s weekend, a weekend filled with seeing our son, his friends, and the new friends we made over the past four years. We shared meals, attended events and, for self-serving purposes, cleaned their house. The boys initially met because they attended this beautiful Southern college, but the strong ties they formed are because of the fraternity they pledged. Becoming a member of their fraternity taught them so many amazing out-of-class life lessons and has given them many personal development opportunities. So, why are colleges so intent on making it difficult to continue this tradition and take away this wonderful opportunity? Is it possible that Greek life promotes conservative values and the campaign to ban Greek life on campuses is simply politically driven?
A study, co-authored in 2012 by Michael Heval, found that “fraternities and sororities may be one of the more formal and long-standing aspects of higher education in which conservative individuals on campus congregate.” In 2015, a University of Arkansas study found “fraternity and sorority members were significantly less liberal than their unaffiliated peers after four years of college.” Bingo.
Colleges are a microcosm of our culture in the larger community with liberals trying to chip away at the very fabric of our society. They create issues where no issues exist, a narrative that things are offensive when they are not, and describe non-violent situations as violent with the need to find a safe place. They are systematic in their approach and execution.
As president of his fraternity, my son deals with administrative ‘requests’ several times a week. The night before the young men planned a party for their parents at Parents Weekend, the Director of Greek Life Leadership and Engagement (yes, that’s a thing) asked that a sign in front of the house that said, “moms drink free at _ _ _*,” be removed as the administration found it offensive. The dads did find it offensive based on gender discrimination; they should drink free as well. They were also told at a late hour to cancel the band. This is what I witnessed being there for just a short visit. They did not take down the sign nor did they cancel the band. They negotiated terms and creatively navigated the problem to ensure a successful party. This is not limited to Greek life; conservative college students write papers to appease their liberal professors and do not participate in honest discourse in class. They have learned how to play the game, which is an amazing life skill. They do not cry, wear pink hats, or ask for a safe space.
If the plan is to systematically chip away at Greek life until there are no organizations left on U.S. college campuses, liberals get an A for effort, but will ultimately fail. Smart, conservative students are outwitting and outmaneuvering their liberal counterparts every step of the way. It’s what we do; and our children are not only watching but following our actions.
President Trump is leading the way for our nation to move in a positive direction, to move away from strangling political correctness and far left leaning socialism, but it will take all of us, consistently, to fight back when, quite frankly, the arguments are ridiculous. Republicans will stand strong, work hard, and win. Just look at what Pete Flores accomplished!
*I’m not using any names. I am certain the school employs a company like Meltwater to monitor the internet, and we still need to graduate on time!
Karen C. Newton, President