On college campuses, cracking down on dissident viewpoints isn't censorship; it's just "reducing paper waste."
In a move that certainly looks like a revenge of sorts for The Argus publishing a conservative take on #BlackLivesMatter, Wesleyan University's student government voted to consider cutting the student newspaper's funding.
The Argus, Wesleyan's main student publication, currently publishes twice a week. Recently, an op-ed by a conservative white veteran that mildly criticized some tactics of the BLM movement provoked a backlash from the campus's far-left activists, who in turn pressured the student government to cut funding to the paper. The activists also vowed to destroy any physical copies of the paper they could get their hands on.
These activities were an explicit threat to The Argus: run different material—material that doesn't offend the sensibilities of liberals—or else.
Now, it appears the student government is taking action. On Sunday, the Wesleyan Student Assembly affirmed a resolution to restructure how The Argus is funded. The resolution is complicated, but it would substantially decrease The Argus's printing budget; money saved this way would be put toward stipends for writers at various campus publications that don't publish as frequently as The Argus. The WSA claims the purpose of the resolution is to "reduce paper waste," by printing The Argus less frequently.
The exact details haven't been hammered out yet, but Argus editors expect their funding to be cut by $15,000.
On Twitter, the WSA denied that it had voted to defund The Argus, but did not answer questions about whether the resolution would eventually cut funding to The Argus. Questions about the political nature of the resolution were also left unanswered.
The Argus, which worries it will lose its editorial independence, has published a request for donations.
A campus that allows its student government to bully a newspaper for occasionally publishing an unpopular opinion is not a healthy place for free expression.