Constitution Day at Michigan Tech University

Recently, the students of Michigan Tech joined in the celebration of the 230th anniversary of the signing of the Constitution of the United States. However, it is ironic that this university administration is taking the celebration so seriously, considering their past behavior. For example, back in 2015, university vice-president Les Cook stated that Title IX supersedes the Constitution of the United States. If Mr. Cook is reading this letter, I would like to refer him to Article VI, Clause 2 of the Constitution, which states in part that the Constitution is the ‘supreme law of the land’. Nothing can supersede it.

The Michigan Tech administration is also responsible for severely punishing a student, based on a misrepresentation of his First Amendment protected speech. This student posted a joke on social media, which led the university to expel the student. This was despite having full knowledge that the post was edited to make it sound more threatening than the original. Despite the case being settled, the administration took away his opportunity to gain a valuable engineering degree at a well-renowned university.

As part of the celebration, the Michigan Tech Van Pelt and Opie Library hosted a writing contest. As part of the essay, entrants discussed potential situations in which First Amendment speech should be limited by the university in order to fight hate speech. They even suggest that the university act as a legislature, noting that “…boundaries (established by the University community not by Congress) may be needed”. However, if the university knew the Framers’ intentions, they would realize that words are not violence. If limits are placed on the First Amendment, it leaves the opportunity for government ideologues to distort the definition of hate speech in order to justify censorship of dissenting opinions.

The Constitution was also constructed with individual freedom as the ultimate goal. However, some at the university would rather judge people based on their collective identity. For example, some students have organized an event called ‘Peace Talks’. They say that this event is intended to foster a more inclusive community for minorities on campus. Reading deeper into the description of the event, it also states “…because this area is predominantly white, it is important that these white people realize that even if they are not a part of a white supremacy group, they benefit from white supremacy every day. We need to have a recognition of that in order to tear down the system that we (white people) benefit from.” Rather than taking the advice of Martin Luther King and judging people on the content of their character, they would rather group all white people as racists, and blame them for all the problems minorities are facing, even after the Civil Rights act has been in effect for over fifty years.

I am happy to have had the opportunity to attend Michigan Tech for the past three years, and I am not trying to discourage high school graduates from applying to this university. However, I think it is important for them and their parents to know that the administration of this university does not always respect the views and Constitutional rights of its students. It is also important for incoming students to know that, although the student body this university is not as politically biased as others, the left still has a very strong voice on the campus.

Sam LaMarche

Young Americans for Liberty

Michigan Technological University

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