The UNC Chapel Hill student organization that caused a stir on campus by bringing in two speakers who oppose illegal immigration has lost its faculty sponsor.
Chris Clemens, a professor of physics and astronomy, has stopped advising Youth for Western Civilization, a fledgling group that brought former congressmen Tom Tancredo and Virgil Goode to campus this past semester.
Tancredo's speech went off the tracks when protesters were so disruptive that campus police shut the event down, leading campus officials to call the former congressman to apologize.
Goode's talk the following week was marred again by protesters - several of whom were arrested - but he was able to finish speaking.
Clemens said today he supports the UNC-CH students who formed the local group, but thinks they should separate from the national Youth for Western Civilization organization, which helps fund the local group's activities. The national organization is led by "provocateurs" who like to stir things up and create controversy, Clemens said.
"The national group has its own agenda," he said, adding that bringing in controversial speakers baits protesters, who appear willing to continue protesting their campus events. "It's going to be impossible to have any constructive dialogue. The radical leftists on campus are not going to let them do anything without total disruption."
A conservative, Clemens says he's a rarity on the liberal Chapel Hill campus - so much so that he's one of just a couple professors conservative students can turn to when they need a group advisor.
Clemens advises three such groups now, and has been involved with as many as five at one time. But generally, it involves little heavy lifting; you sign some forms, you answer the occasional question.
"My philosophy is that it's a student-run organization, so let the students run it," he said.
But the furors that erupted following the Tancredo appearance last semester illustrated to Clemens that the campus YWC group - as long as it carried that name - would create more trouble than he has time for. He'd be willing to help the YWC students if they broke from the national group and re-formed with a new name.
"It's my time, and it's my concern that this is not the best way to have a constructive conversation," he said.
The Daily Tar Heel, UNC's student newspaper, has more on the story here.