An American-themed barbecue at a public university in N.J. was declared too offensive by the school administration.
According to Campus Reform, a Sept. 16 luncheon at Ramapo College was scheduled to be hosted by the College Republicans and two residence halls. Just two days before the barbecue, school officials emailed College Republican president Taylor Gilson telling her their event would no longer be sponsored because the American theme was “considered offensive.” Instead, the barbecue would just be an ordinary barbecue.
When Gilson asked the school why the theme was offensive, staff member Ariana Rivera replied, “To be honest, I’m not sure. I think it was administrative. I was told that our advertising was too ‘military and recruitment-oriented’ because we had the Uncle Sam saying ‘I want you,’ I think? However, we saw other posters with that same idea, so I don’t really know.”
Gilson explained the only thing written on the Uncle Sam posters were the words, “We want you…to come to our BBQ.” Needless to say, College Republican members were upset at the controversy. Club member Monica Lynn penned an op-ed for The Odyssey stating:
The issue was swept under the rug like nothing happened, and to some it may seem quite trivial, but to me this spells out a larger message: that a lot of colleges and universities in today’s society are willing to shut down students’ opinions in fear of offending someone.
This is just the latest incident in what seems to be an ongoing pattern with educational institutions these days—the demonization of U.S. patriotism. A high school teacher in North Carolina was just placed on leave for stomping on the American flag in the middle of class the other day. On the 15th anniversary of 9/11, a professor at Saddleback College walked around campus tearing down posters honoring the lives lost on that tragic day.
Angela Daidone, a PR spokeswoman for Ramapo, told Campus Reform “The BBQ did go on as planned, there were American flags and TurboVote was there, and over 300 students attended. The theme was changed but there were American flags hanging.”
When questioned why College Republicans needed to change their American theme, Daidone stated there was a “miscommunication,” but did not go into further detail.
The College Democrats, who were also invited to sponsor the event, denied being a part of the event.