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.
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.3 comments