University leaders have censored free speech


In late April, Chancellor Holden Thorp revoked Professor Emeritus Elliot Cramer’s access to the UNC (computer) network. What did Cramer do to UNC to lose his privileges?

Essentially, nothing.

A man named Joseph Villarosa — who has exactly zero ties to the University — dragged UNC into an email dispute between himself and PAWS, an animal welfare group that Cramer runs. The only connection to UNC was that Cramer’s UNC website linked to the PAWS website.

Villarosa pestered the University to delete Cramer’s UNC email account, calling Cramer “clinically deranged and a VERY poor UNC representative.”

Rather than stand up for Cramer and ignore Villarosa (against whom Cramer has a restraining order for cyber stalking), Chancellor Thorp revoked all of Elliot Cramer’s network privileges.

This effective censorship of Cramer by the UNC administration is outrageous, and shows a total disregard for free speech.

This is not the first time that Chancellor Thorp has punished Cramer for his speech.

As former advisor to student group Youth for Western Civilization, Cramer was targeted by campus fliers publicizing his home address.

In an email he sent to Thorp to make him aware of the fliers, Cramer joked about defending himself. But Thorp didn’t get the joke and asked for Cramer’s resignation. Cramer stepped down, but it seems Thorp continues to hold a grudge.

Thorp fails to understand that freedom of speech includes the speech you disagree with.

Until UNC stands up for free speech, I promise that they will never receive another dime from me. I hope other alumni who feel the same way will join me in withholding their support. I love UNC, but that love is not unconditional.

Thorp’s continued censorship of Cramer breaks this Tar Heel’s heart, and it’s going to take more than a bouquet of roses to win me back.

Tom VanAntwerp
Class of 2010

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