Prof proclaims he is 'unbiased,' then calls conservative student group 'racist,' 'sexist'
A Penn State professor lashed out at a conservative student who offered him a chance to serve as a club adviser, citing the Capitol Hill attack.
The professor suggested that the group “has some responsibility for recent actions.”
A Pennsylvania State University professor lashed out at a conservative student who offered him a chance to serve as a club adviser, citing the Capitol Hill riots on January 6.
In an email to PSU Young Americans for Freedom chapter chairman John Stafford, a copy of which Campus Reform obtained, PSU Distinguished Professor Pete Hatemi — who teaches political science — responded harshly to a student who asked him to serve as an adviser for the school’s Young Americans for Freedom chapter, noting that he would not support a group with “an implied or explicit” support for President Donald Trump.
Refusing the adviser slot on the grounds that he would no longer be an “unbiased instructor" if he were to accept the role, Hatemi questioned if YAF “has some responsibility for recent actions" at the Capitol.
“As such, I would like to offer one piece of advice,” wrote Hatemi. “Your timing, frankly, could be seen as offensive to many. I suggest taking a moment, and a serious look at the political situation, and given that many members of the Republicans party supported an act of insurrection and violence, and attempted to undermine a legitimate election outcome, now might not be the time to solicit for new members or advisors for your organization.”
The self-described "unbiased" professor told the student to “reflect on what you stand for.”
He also recommended crafting a statement to define the YAF chapter, taking a position on the events over the last four years that allegedly led to the “seditious acts of many members of the Republican party, Trump and his supporters.”
Stafford responded in an email to Hatemi.
“I find your response insulting, not only towards YAF, but the entirety of the conservative movement,” wrote Stafford, who also noted that YAF’s status as a 501(c)(3) prohibits it from endorsing political candidates and parties.
Stafford also pointed Hatemi toward national YAF’s statement condemning the Capitol violence, adding that Hatemi’s suggestion that YAF was somehow responsible for the violence is “unsubstantiated.”
“I will continue my search for a chapter advisor to ensure that my YAF chapter has a strong presence on Penn State’s campus — promoting freedom and standing against false narratives like your own,” concluded Stafford.
Stafford told Campus Reform that Dr. Hatemi's email "inspired" other professors to contact the group for support.
"Dr. Hatemi's response happened to be the same old unfounded clichés that leftists say about conservatives. However, it actually inspired other professors and students to contact our chapter to offer their support. YAF has had a long legacy on our campus, and students along with professors seem to be happy to see its revitalization," Stafford said.
Lisa Powers, Penn State senior director of news and media relations, did not address the "unbiased" professor's shakedown of the conservative student, Rather, she downplayed the exchange, telling told Campus Reform that “there is a pool of nearly 18,000 employees” at Penn State who could serve as advisers if they were asked.
Campus Reform reached out to Hatemi; this article will be updated accordingly.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @BenZeisloft