After a graduate of Kentucky’s Transylvania University who currently works with the ACLU ripped the idea of the university accepting Nick Sandman, writing that Sandmann “clearly is a provocateur in training” and “dangerous,” an Assistant Professor and Diversity Scholar at the university responded that if Sandmann “were to cause problems,” she would “file a conduct report.”
Transylvania University is a private university in Lexington, Kentucky, and the first university in Kentucky, founded in 1780.
The exchange started with Samuel Crankshaw writing on Facebook:
Does anyone else think it’s a bit of a stain on Transylvania University for accepting Nick Sandman? I’m sure it’s a “both sides” defense, but it’s pretty counter to their mission and another instance of there not actually being equal sides to an issue. I think TU should accept anyone willing to have an open mind and engage in debate, regardless of their views. That’s how we all learn. That’s Transy’s mission.
But this kid clearly is a provocateur in training with no intention of learning. He exists only to troll, intimidate and play victim. He and his attorney proudly use their national platforms to promote QAnon, which has *literally* been the direct cause of multiple instances of violence (not to mention all of the other batshit stuff). He is proudly defending Kyle Rittenhouse, who murdered two people for exercising political speech. Ironically, this silenced victim is running with Don Jr., spoke at the GOP convention, has a bill in his honor at the General Assembly, has attended private schools, has a national law firm representing him, etc. So silenced. He’s no different from the likes of Milo Yiannopoulos, but he is more dangerous.
Having experienced the incredibly high standards Transy requires for admission and then holds its students to, this seems like a slap in the face. I hope some time in a real classroom changes him, but his twitter and public persona suggest otherwise …
Dr. Avery Tompkins replied, “While I certainly don’t support or agree with his views, and find his public behavior and rhetoric atrocious and uninformed, we can’t not admit academically qualified students due to their political and personal views.”
Then she got snarky and patronizing: “If he ends up in my intro class, fine. He might learn something that is actually based on research and evidence. I’m well aware of the anti-intellectual views tied to the organizations he’s part of, so I assume he’d view me as part of some liberal brainwashing machine, but signing up for Transy and my class means he is required to learn that information, even if he disagrees.”
“If he were to cause problems by being disruptive, trolling, or engaging in unethical behavior of any kind, I would immediately document it (just like I would for any student doing the same thing) and he would just be putting himself in a position for me to file a conduct report,” she threatened. “So. As far as I know, there have been no issues so far (though I certainly could be missing info).”
Then she expressed sympathy with Crankshaw’s attack on Sandmann: “That said, I totally get where you’re coming from. I’m interested in knowing why he chose Transy, whose mission is the antithesis of what he believes and promotes.”
Jonathan Turley, professor of law at George Washington University Law School, wrote in response to the professor’s post, “[the] fact that figures in the ACLU and academia would publicly espouse such views of intolerance is a chilling example of how our faith in free speech has eroded in the recent years.” Excerpts from Turley’s response:
Crankshaw labels Sandmann a “provocateur in training with no intention of learning.” Putting aside the provocateur label how would Crankshaw know that Sandmann has “no intention of learning”? … Rather than say that there is no reason why this conservative student should be singled out in this way, Tompkins declares publicly “I get where you are coming from.” Where would that be? Cranksaw was coming from a place where a wrongly accused conservative teenager will be harassed or targeted for daring to take his views to a college. … Tompkins labels this incoming freshman as part of an anti-intellectual movement and publicly assumes that Sandmann will reject core principles of learning. This is a freshman being publicly shredded by a professor at his school. Tompkins then expresses the same uncertainty why this student would pick a university dedicated to higher education and “the antithesis of what he belies and promotes.”