Dina Titus: Free Speech and UNLV Policy

UNLV College Republicans have taken a peculiar stance against former Congresswoman Dina Titus, accusing her of cheating in a political debate against Joe Heck and standing by unfair claims made against him.  Even with the election over, these conservative students are still pushing for some sort of action from UNLV because, they claim, she should be held to the same standard that students are with regards to cheating and honesty.  Here is an excerpt from their “Woman Without Integrity” website.

The UNLV Official Student Misconduct Policy expectations are set that every member of the campus community “all share in upholding the fundamental values of honesty, trust, respect, fairness, responsibility and professionalism.” It goes further to say that “honesty is the foundation of teaching, learning, research and service,” and that “students and faculty alike must be honest with themselves and others.”


If we are to hold this standard to all students and faculty fairly, then we will find UNLV’s basketball and football teams in big trouble.  Basketball has clearly defined rules that all the players agree to before playing.  If any basketball player commits a flagrant foul, they are intentionally breaking the rules.  Would we consider that cheating?


What if a UNLV player were to foul someone, and the referee didn’t make the call?  Should the UNLV player be honest, and volunteer that he made the foul?  Oh, I would hate to see how UNLV fans reacted to that.

Under the College Republican’s standards, any player not being honest about a foul is in violation of the Student Misconduct Policy.  Personally, this interpretation of the rules is way over the top, and more likely just the product of another political game.  It is evidence that politics is a game, and the College Republicans are playing it as much as Titus ever was.

Free Speech

Integrity, when it comes to political questions and beliefs, should not be subjected to some university honesty policy.  That could be dangerous to our democracy and to free speech.  Calling her out on her stance about Joe Heck is one thing.  Making a claim, however, that it violates some standard of conduct at UNLV is itself arguably DISHONEST and certainly subjective.

Politics and basketball are both games.  You’ll often hear the analogous mention of the arena of public opinion.  Because politics, opinions and even fouls are subjective, we cannot scrutinize them as honest or dishonest among academic discipline councils without risking suppression of thought.  Let the voters and referees make those determinations.  Keep UNLV administration out of it.  There are clear rules about freedom of expression at the University that take precedence in this situation.

Justin McAffee

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  • Michael Green
    January 21, 2011, 5:46 pm

    Apparently, the College Republicans haven’t learned much in history or political science classes, but have spent a little too much time studying the techniques of such noted intellectual giants as Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, and Glenn Beck.

  • Tony Wright
    January 23, 2011, 10:27 am

    Since the debate was taped and Titus clearly cheated. The rule was no note cards and she brought hers. A typical progressive tactic. Being honest in basketball is also expected. And if the basketball team cannot field a team due to poor grades or academic dishonesty that is the breaks. It is expected that the university is to teach first and that all sports are secondary and are a bonus.

    The difference between academic dishonesty and political dishonesty is that the politicians are elected to look out for the Peoples Pursuit of Happiness and the protection of Liberty. Basket ball games do not result in new laws being passed. Basketball games are not going to abridge someones freedom. Politicians do.

    Honor is necessary, keeping your word (otherwise known as promises) is necessary. If our politicians do not keep their word, we do not reelect them.

    The bottom line is that he UNLV rewarded Titus with a job position that many would envy. At $106,000 a year she is way overpaid. She cheated and did not play by the rules and no amount of sanctimonious justification will make it go away. The Student body and the school require everyone else to play by the rules, why should she be any different? They hold you to the rules, don’t they or are you special?

    • Laura@Tony Wright
      January 23, 2011, 7:38 pm

      Having notes is a typical progressive tactic? Must have missed that in my training.

      Damn you Soros!!!

      You think sports has nothing to do with laws being passed? Why do you think people can go to jail for betting on games or taking performance enhancing drugs?


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