F.A.C.T.: Misleading Students, Misusing The Law

The Colgate F.A.C.T. leaders must be pretty proud of themselves right now. They had a successful rally, their campaign is being recognized by the President of the University and they’re receiving more and more support from people on campus. It’s a shame that they had to go about this in the most deceptive ways possible.

There was a F.A.C.T. rally at the DKE house on Tuesday morning. I had class, so I didn’t get to go. From what I heard, there were a lot of people there. I bet that they were all there to support their First Amendment rights and that the Dinosaur BBQ had nothing to do with it. On the F.A.C.T. site, it says that the group has “no political agenda” – yet one of their speakers was David Horowitz. To clue you in, Horowitz is an editor for FrontPageMag.com, a neoconservative online journal. He has also written several books, including such gems as Unholy Alliance: Radical Islam and the American Left and How to Beat the Democrats and Other Subversive Ideas.

The truth is that they’ve been misleading people. A number of people who have been to the Frank Dining Hall in the past few weeks have been asked to sign a petition supporting “First Amendment rights.” Neither F.A.C.T. nor the Greek life on campus was ever referenced unless asked about it. This seems strange, considering F.A.C.T.’s mission statement is to stop Colgate from violating our “freedom of assembly rights” and stop the “violation of property rights in taking the Greek houses.” Nonetheless, their campaign has been remarkably misleading, and I’ve talked to a number of students who claim they were tricked into signing the petition. And for some who didn’t sign the petition, they were told to continue hating America and not supporting the rights of their fellow students. (Yes, this actually happened.)

F.A.C.T. loves using the law to justify its cause, but they are missing the point of the law which they are basing their organization on. Incidentally, this is the law that President Chopp noted in her letter – the 1998 Amendments to the Higher Education Act of 1965, Title I, Section 112, Part B. “Nothing in this section shall be construed… to prevent an institution of higher education from taking appropriate and effective action to prevent violations of State liquor laws, to discourage binge drinking and other alcohol abuse, to protect students from sexual harassment including assault and date rape, to prevent hazing, or to regulate unsanitary or unsafe conditions in any student residence.”

There it is. That’s exactly why the school is buying the houses: to stop the law from being broken on its campus. President Chopp outlined this for us: “The history of disciplinary problems showed a pattern of behavior that included repeated alcohol abuse, violent fighting, rape, hazing and in one tragic case, the deaths of four young people and the arrest and incarceration of a fifth.” I guess that’s why they changed the way Derby Days worked this year, and why KDR got thrown off campus last year.

Last week, F.A.C.T. president senior Sean Devlin told the Maroon-News that he loves Colgate. He loves Colgate so much that he scheduled the F.A.C.T. rally on the first day of April Visit Days, right as prospective students are looking at Colgate. What better way to show your love for a school than to speak out against the administration while people are deciding whether or not to come here? What seems ironic to me is that, by putting their event on during April Visit Days, they’re probably scaring away kids that would come to Colgate for its fraternity life, thereby actually adding to the supposed decline of a Greek presence on campus.

In all honesty, I don’t care if the school does or does not buy the houses. What does bother me is how the students are being misled and lied to, and how the school is being attacked under false pretenses. So, F.A.C.T.: Stop lying and misleading us, and carry your campaign out in a fair way.