Arguments over the best way to promote diversity in the
University collided during last night’s monthly meeting of
the College Republicans.

John Becic
SHUBRA OHRI/Daily
State Rep. Leon Drolet (R-Clinton Twp.) speaks at the Michigan Union last night. Drolet told the College Republicans that University professors do not offer students a broad range of political opinions.

State Rep. Leon Drolet (R-Clinton Twp.) addressed a group of 30
students about the lack of intellectual diversity at the
University. He stressed that the University was not offering
students a broad range of political thought because the majority of
the school’s professors are liberal.

“The students on campus are exposed to a one-sided slanted
view of reality,” Drolet said. “Even if a liberal
professor will try to represent the other viewpoint, he cannot do
it as well as representing his viewpoint,” he added.

Drolet explained the University justified its admissions policy
in the U.S. Supreme Court by citing diversity as a central
concern.

He said the University is contradicting itself by having only
liberal professors, allowing for only a “skin-deep”
policy on diversity.

“I hope the University will stop treating people like
pieces of skin, but rather as minds.”

These remarks then sparked a heated debate between Drolet and
BAMN members in the audience on the issue of affirmative action at
universities.

Both sides agreed that the current admissions system is flawed.
But they did not agree on how to remedy the situation.

BAMN national organizer Luke Massie questioned if Drolet was
suggesting that minorities were inferior to whites and if Drolet
was defending whites from affirmative action.

Regarding the hiring of professors, Massie said, “The
reason that the majority of professors have left-leaning opinions
is because the majority of educated people tend to tilt to the
left.”

Other BAMN members criticized Drolet for his methods to support
the desegregation of educational institutions. But Drolet flatly
denied these allegations and stated his goal is to eliminate race
as a factor. “The University advocates a fascist-like
enforcement of race. But the concept of ideas of the human mind are
not as well represented (in admissions).”

The main point of disagreement stemmed from Drolet’s
belief that affirmative action should be based on socioeconomic
factors, whereas BAMN claims an affirmative action based on race
and ethnicity.

“I believe a socioeconomic affirmative action is
acceptable. I don’t believe in a, ‘Oh you’re
black, so you are poor’ admissions policy,” Drolet
said.

He also added he did not want the University to conduct an
affirmative action-like policy when hiring professors. “I
just want an unbiased (hiring) process.”

Drolet supported his arguments from a study he conducted based
on the website Opensecrets.org. Through this website, he said, he
found that a disproportionate amount of money donated by University
professors went to liberal candidates in recent elections.

He found that in the 2000 presidential election, 63 percent of
election donations went to presidential candidate Bill Bradley
(D-N.J.), while U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), the Republican who
received the highest amount of donations totaled only 11 percent.
President Bush received 0 percent from University professors in the
same year.

Data from Partisan Donations from 2000 to 2004 also show that 85
percent of University professors’ donations went to
Democrats. The number of professors who donated during these time
periods was unknown.

Response from audience members was mixed.

BAMN national organizer Luke Massie commented on Drolet’s
views of affirmative action and the lack and intellectual diversity
by saying, “I think it’s a shameful project. A ploy.
His attempt to segregate the schools is shameful. He ought to be
condemned.”

But LSA sophomore Jeston Lacroix agreed with Drolet’s view
that University professors have a liberal slant.

“Bias is very prevalent on this campus. Liberal professors
make fun of conservatives and call them names such as thieves,
liars and cheaters,” Lacroix said. He added, “I
don’t mind (professors) having (opinions), but I do mind
seeking out conservatives (for ridicule) in particular.

While a similar study at Michigan State University is still in
the works, Drolet said initial reports show similar but not as
disproportionate findings as at the University of Michigan.

When asked if the finding of the prevalence of liberal
professors is reflective of the pool of available professors in
general and therefore the hiring is unbiased, Drolet said,
“Because conservative professors tend to gravitate to certain
colleges and not others, I do not know.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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