Chapman Refuses to “Follow the Science” With New Mask Mandate

Credit: Chapman Newsroom

By The Editorial Board 

The start of the fall semester at Chapman University is rapidly approaching amid the new Delta variant of COVID-19. Unfortunately, the school is again implementing strict, unnecessary, and overbearing mask mandates on students – including on those who have been vaccinated or have recovered from the virus – instead of providing students the educational environment they have been deprived of for the past 18 months. 

After a year and a half of “Zoom University,” it is time for Chapman to stop taking positions at odds with science and instead allow its students to decide their own risk tolerance when entering the classroom.

In an email sent to the student body by Dean of Students Jerry Price on Aug. 13, Chapman allowed vaccinated individuals to forgo its mask mandate by only “strongly recommending” that they wear one indoors. It was good news that the university recognized the efficacy of the shots’ artificial immunity and left students with the choice as to whether they wanted to comply with the recommendations. 

However, in the statement written by Mr. Price, there was no mention that those who have already contracted the virus – and have therefore developed natural immunity – could also opt-out of the mask mandate. Instead, he only stated that masks would be required indoors for unvaccinated individuals.

Nonetheless, on Aug. 17, only four days after Mr. Price’s email, the Office of the President released a contradictory statement revealing that Chapman consulted an infectious disease expert, Dr. Dan Kelly, who recommended that all individuals mask indoors.

Chapman has repeatedly admitted to prioritizing the recommendations of the CDC and California government when drafting health guidances for the last 18 months. However, on this occasion, not only did the school opt to take advice from a single individual, but they ignored the entities they unquestioningly trusted for the last year and a half.

It’s disappointing to witness yet again Chapman backtracking on its students, especially after repeatedly stating which health authorities it would follow throughout the pandemic. Chapman has blatantly and contradictingly ignored those authorities when drafting its recent decrees and instead followed the opinion of one epidemiologist to determine the weighty restrictions on university students and faculty.

Not to mention, Chapman’s mask policies are needlessly strict and will not be effective. Dr. Michael Osterholm, the epidemiologist who served in the Biden administration’s transition COVID-19 task force, has stated that “Many of the face cloth coverings that people wear are not very effective in reducing any of the virus movement in or out.” 

While Chapman is offering students N95 masks on request, the vast majority of students will opt to bring their comfortable cloth masks. Chapman makes no distinction between the two in its mandate.

Just as puzzling is the fact that Chapman’s twice-per-week testing requirement for unvaccinated students does not account for students who developed natural immunity from a prior COVID-19 infection. The university and its so-called health “experts” should acknowledge that natural antibodies offer stronger, more permanent protection than a vaccine.

A recent Israeli study found that natural antibodies are 6.7 times more protective than the antibodies generated from a COVID-19 vaccine. Therefore, Chapman should begin checking for prior infection when drafting its health guidance. If students have recovered from the virus, then they should be indefinitely exempt from masking and testing, no matter how much time has passed since they were infected. 

Disregarding the naturally immune is another instance of Chapman ignoring the science that it claims to follow.

The CDC reports that for the week of Aug. 14, the rate of hospitalization for those aged 18 to 29 was 3.1 per 100,000 – hardly enough to warrant panic. While cases and hospitalizations have risen in Orange County over the last month, the 7-day moving average of deaths from COVID-19 is a mere 3.3 out of a population of over 3 million

In a county so populous, a daily death count that is this low does not justify Chapman’s needless, panic-driven health measures. Moreover, 66 percent of county residents have gotten at least one jab, including 81 percent of seniors. 

The Chapman community – which is 95 percent fully vaccinated according to Chapman President Daniele Struppa’s last email – poses absolutely no threat to those in the county, nor vice versa.

If Chapman’s goal is to get the remaining students, faculty, and staff vaccinated, then it needs to set up proper incentive structures that convince individuals to get it. However, mask mandates and encouraging vaccination are inversely proportional. That is to say, nobody wants the vaccine if they will still suffer from the same overbearing restrictions.

This is because students will either start to believe vaccines are ineffective if students who have the shots still have to mask, or they will think that masking is a substitute for getting vaccinated. 

Every student and faculty member at Chapman has the opportunity to get vaccinated. At this point, if someone has chosen not to get the shot, it is a personal choice, and that person has to bear the risks associated with contracting COVID-19.

Unvaccinated people pose no threat to the vaccinated. The death rates from COVID-19 (no matter the variant) are infinitesimally small if someone has been vaccinated. As columnist Marc Thiessen stated in the Washington Post, “vaccinated Americans are more likely to die from a lightning strike than COVID.”

What is frequently not discussed – but is perhaps just as important as the spread of the virus – is the psychological harm placed on students who have to continue sacrificing their learning because of restrictive measures. Students have been unable to experience necessary human connection. In addition to the forced isolation, they must wear masks if they wish to come on campus – increasing deindividualization, which further makes students feel isolated. Due to this, there is likely greater mental health damage placed on students. 

So much for prioritizing the “safety and wellbeing of Chapman’s students, faculty, and staff.”

Since there are readily available and effective vaccines that anyone can get, the trade-offs from universal masking become net-negative. 

However, not all measures taken throughout the pandemic with regard to schools have been unreasonable. In March 2020, the lockdown orders concerning schools were justified, not because the data supported them, but because no one had any data available, and state and local officials had a duty to err on the side of safety. But we are now still reacting to a worst-case scenario when the new data greatly contradicts it. 

After all, the chief incentive for getting vaccinated is a return to normalcy. Chapman, unfortunately, is only exacerbating the lack of normalcy with these needless restrictions. 

If someone is worried about COVID-19, then they can vaccinate, wear masks, and social distance to their heart’s desire. If someone has a different level of risk tolerance, then they should rightfully do with their body as they wish. This would be consistent with the science, which states that both natural immunity and vaccines are effective, commonly-used cloth masks are ineffective, and overbearing restrictions are bad for everyone’s health – especially college-age adults.

It’s time for Chapman to follow the science and stop prohibiting its students and faculty from making their own choices about health and safety.


Chapman students celebrate at Commencement
Photo Credit: Chapman Newsroom

By The Hesperian Staff

Students at Chapman University are worried that Chapman’s “cultural” graduations will create division and frustration within the Chapman community.

Chapman hosted six different cultural graduations over a two-weekend span during July 30 through August 1, and August 6 through August 8. 

According to Chapman’s Cross-Cultural Center, the “Cultural Graduation Ceremonies are intended for any graduate who identifies with a specific community and provide an affirmational space for graduating students to celebrate.” 

These groups include Black, APIDA, Lavender (LGBTQ+), Disabled, Middle Eastern, and Latin people. While some students hail the school for their brave support of “diversity and inclusion,” other students of these groups are worried about what this push by Chapman may do to increase divisiveness and tribalism within the University’s community as a whole.

According to one of the Chapman Cross Cultural Center’s posts on Instagram, the graduations are supposed to be an addition to the regular graduation. 

“Cultural graduation celebrations are additions to the university-wide commencement ceremony, students are free to register for these additional celebrations to share the joy of graduation with their friends and family if they choose to,” the post says.

Gage Jennings, class of 2021, was invited to attend the lavender LGBTQ+ graduation, but did not attend because he felt like individuality was more important than a group-identified graduation.

“The whole idea of celebrating people’s achievements centered around a specific defining characteristic about a person is counterintuitive in my opinion.” Jennings said, “We should not be focusing on factors that divide us… instead we should celebrate the things that we all share, which is our achievement of accomplishing our college education.”

While Jennings does admit that two years ago he would have agreed with these graduations, he now believes that everyone should root their identity in individuality rather than in a community.

Keenan Pasztor, class of 2021, was invited to attend the black graduation. Pasztor did not attend because she never felt different than anyone during her time at Chapman, and understood the double standard she believes exists in exclusive events based on the color of skin.

“Graduation is supposed to be a time of community and celebration school wide.” Pasztor stated, “If white students were to hold a “white” graduation ceremony, everyone would be up in arms about how that is racist, but when black students or LGBTQ+ students hold separate ceremonies, it’s okay.”

While Pasztor doesn’t believe these graduations should be banned, she does believe that if they exist, they need to be on an even playing field, and Chapman should not be directly involved in it. 

“If a group feels so inclined to hold a separate ceremony, they should be 100% responsible, not the university,” Pasztor explained. 

Abbey Umali, class of 2021, was invited to attend the disability graduation. Umali chose not to attend because she felt the future repercussions of the ceremony were too immense.

“I think the idea of the graduations are coming from a good place, because they want people to feel included when they’ve probably felt excluded,” Umail said. “But I think they have the potential to continue going in a direction that is dangerous.”

Umali explained that her concern is that, over time, it would become normal to separate students based on group identity, instead of how they actually are as individuals. A “divisive line” would be added to the Chapman community, while false and misguided pretences of diversity and inclusion would do the opposite.

As the coming years approach, we can only wait and see if any more “cultural events” will be used on Chapman grounds, and whether students and faculty choose to unite or further divide.

China Guilty Of More Than Just Lab Leak

By Kate Robinson

A Wall Street Journal investigation recently revealed that three Wuhan, China lab workers participating in the gain of function research were hospitalized in November 2019 with COVID-19 symptoms. This occurred about a month before the “first case” – supposedly contracted from a bat at a Wuhan wet market and independent from the lab – was made public.  

The Journal’s discovery is now enough to prompt politicians and other health officials to investigate the possibility that the virus leaked from a lab. However, had one mentioned this theory a year and a half ago – as did then-President Donald Trump – he or she was probably deplatformed, ridiculed, or deemed an alt-right conspiracy theorist. 

So, instead, we opted to nod our head in agreement with the world’s elites for the last 18 months as they spun a story full of sick bats and infected wet markets, only for the lab leak hypothesis to never sufficiently be proven wrong. Buying into the twisted narrative of an accidental pandemic gone wrong is perhaps a mistake far more lethal than the destruction caused by the virus itself.  

If COVID-19 really did escape from the Wuhan lab, then it so clearly illustrates China’s attempt to intentionally wage war against the United States. To not recognize it means that China is already winning. Unless we fight back, our unwillingness to counter an authoritarian, evil regime is only the beginning of what will eventually lead to China’s world domination. 

China’s plans have been a long time coming. In 1963, China released a list of “45 Communist Goals” which were read into the United States Congressional Record by Florida Democrat Rep. A.S. Herlong, Jr. All 45 objectives are centered around China gaining ultimate power over the rest of the world and its biggest competitor, the United States. The most alarming, and familiar to us now, include “(capturing) one or both of the political parties in the United States; (getting) control of the schools; (gaining) control of key positions in radio, TV, and motion pictures; and (discrediting) the American Founding Fathers.” For the past 58 years, the communist regime has chipped away at its plan, subtly converting and targeting compromised US politicians, celebrities, and other top officials to its side.  

So why, then, would we be so naive to assume that The Communist Party of China did not purposely create and leak a virus to the rest of the world that would undoubtedly allow itself to move even closer to achieving its ultimate goal of destroying the backbone of our country from within?

In the past year and a half, the Democratic party has become more left than ever, dictating when we leave our house, what we wear on our face, and how much we purchase from the grocery store. The party has been captured.  

Millions of students have been forced out of school because of a virus that has been proven not to lead to substantial community infection (should instruction remain in-person). The nonsensical school shutdowns have been a concerted effort to make the next generation more reliant on online learning programs that discredit our country’s history and propagate the communist agenda. The education system is under attack.

News coverage of the pandemic, BLM riots, and American politics has been manipulated to portray the classic left-leaning bias that turns citizens of the U.S. against one another. China leverages news outlets such as NBC News, CNBC, and MSNBC, to name just a few, and controls at least 8,000 American major motion pictures.

The endless lockdowns made for a strange 2020 election cycle, causing our citizens to question the seemingly limitless power of government that the Founding Fathers tried so hard to curtail 234 years ago. It has never failed us before, so why would it now? 

The answer is clear. The release of a global pandemic and the subsequent coverup and likely lies about its origin are just what China needed to crash the U.S. economy. China, now more than ever, has the United States in its grasp. It is up to us, as Americans, not to let Her crumble.

We must fight against government mandates that control our daily lives. We must protest to return to in-person school. We must consume news from sources that China does not have a hand in. We must remember that democracy will always prevail.

I finish with a prophetic warning from my great-great grandfather, a United States immigrant who fled then-communist Yugoslavia nearly 100 years ago. “America will one day be destroyed, not from a bomb or a bullet, but from within.”

I hope we prove him wrong.

Ms. Robinson is a freshman at Chapman University majoring in Strategic & Corporate Communication and a columnist for The Hesperian.

A Republican Roadmap to Taking Back California

Gavin Newsom recall strategy brands opposition as Republican | The  Sacramento Bee
Photo Credit: The Sacramento Bee/John Walker

By Ethan Nikfar 

Earlier in April, California’s secretary of state announced that recall petitioners gathered and submitted over 1,626,000 valid signatures to recall Governor Gavin Newsom, surpassing the required amount by over 100,000 signatures. Newsom, who just a few years ago was being touted as a future presidential nominee, has faced mounting criticism due to his inconsistent COVID-19 response. Liberals have espoused anger at him reopening the state too fast, while conservatives have expressed their displeasure with the state’s business-crushing Draconian lockdowns. 

In the recall election, voters will first be asked whether or not they wish to remove the governor. If a majority support the removal, then they get to vote on a replacement. Recent polls (for what they’re worth) have Newsom comfortable and treading above water. A KABC/SurveyUSA poll from early May has only 36 percent of voters backing his removal, while 47 percent wish him to stay. 

Many voters point to California’s 2003 recall of then-Governor Grey Davis as a glimmer of hope for this year’s election. But unfortunately, political dynamics were glaringly different nearly two decades ago. In 2004, George W. Bush lost the Golden State by only 9.95 points. In 2020, Donald Trump lost the state by almost 30 points. The state has turned much bluer since the last recall election.

So, is there anything Republicans can do to halt the one-party control? 

Chances are slim, but California Republicans would be wise actually to interest themselves with the deep-blue state’s politics. In 2020, GOP candidates got destroyed across the state, but conservative ballot initiatives fared well. 

For example, Uber, Lyft, and other gig-economy firms went to task and drafted a proposition to prevent the classification of independent contractors as full-time employees. This prevents hammering in independent contractors and freelance writers who wish to work on their own time. If the proposition did not pass and the California courts’ idiotic rulings became law, it would have probably resulted in Uber and Lyft ceasing operations in the state. Labor unions and progressive activists fought hard against the proposition, but 58 percent of voters voted in favor of it.

When Californians attempted to disavow their state’s constitution and enshrine racial and sexual preferences in college admissions and government employment, voters also struck that down

How about prohibiting cash bail? California voters said: No, thanks

What happened when the state tried to allow 17-year-old primary voters the ability to vote if they turned 18 before the general election? Californians rightfully rejected it. 

Democrats also wanted to expand the ability of the state to enact rent control, one of the most failed policies of the last century. Voters were also not down with that idea. 

So, what does this suggest? California voters are attitudinally liberal and may hate GOP candidates, but they are not necessarily opposed to conservative ideas. Running on the correct issues and presenting the correct image to voters is key to being competitive. 

In the past, GOP politicians have attempted to run on issues such as education, where they express support for school choice and school vouchers. That may work in a state like Florida, where there is evidence that strong support for school choice helped propel now Gov. Ron DeSantis to victory over Andrew Gillum. But, Ron DeSantis is a once-in-a-generation kind of political talent and Florida is an evenly divided state; California is not. It is impossible to run on an issue in California where the solution from Democrats is to throw more money at the system. Republicans have to run on issues that all Californians are fed up with. 

What are those issues? There are two main problems California Republicans need to be pressing forward: crime and quality of life. 

The state’s major cities saw a significant uptick in homicides and car thefts last year. It is no coincidence that it corresponds with the anti-police rhetoric and subsequent “defund the police” sloganeering by prominent Democrats. 

All Americans, including Democrats, are interested in keeping their communities and families safe. Even minorities, which progressives are supposedly fighting for, are not invested in the “defund the police” idea. 81 percent of black people want just as much, if not more, policing in their neighborhoods. The demonization of police gravely cost Democrats in down-ballot races; Republicans would be foolish not to utilize it in this year’s recall election.

Republicans also need to highlight the decreasing quality of life within the state. Schools in California have been closed for over a year at the behest of selfish teachers’ unions, even though the evidence points to schools being safe to reopen. And, as it turns out, parents are frequently unable to go to work because small children cannot be home alone on Zoom. Newsom’s allegiance to teachers’ unions has not only displayed scientific ineptitude, but he has also alienated a key voting bloc. 

Moreover, at least 161,000 homeless people currently reside in the state. The homeless drop syringes (and defecation) on streets around young children, spread disease, and decrease access to public spaces. Most parents do not like to have their children playing in and around public parks dominated by such distasteful conditions. 

But, most importantly, GOP candidates have to address California’s housing crisis. Housing prices are so high that if you factor in their costs, California has the highest poverty rate in the nation. Policies such as zoning laws and rent control that limit the supply of housing have drastically increased prices. The GOP would be wise to present an alternative by deregulating the sector and allowing for the construction of more houses.

None of this will guarantee a GOP victory later this year. Even if they take up the measures most appealing to voters and back a candidate with the combination of moderate appeal and name recognition, they will likely still lose. But this recall will be the best chance the GOP has anytime soon of freeing Californians from their authoritarian governor.

Mr. Nikfar is a sophomore at Chapman University majoring in Pre-Pharmacy and a columnist for The Hesperian.

President Biden and the Nefarious ‘Newer’ Deal

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Matt Slocum

By Kate Robinson 

As if forgiving student loan debt was not generous enough, President Joe Biden is paying Americans’ bills yet again. This time, it is through his recently enacted $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, which includes such a significant level of handouts of federal unemployment benefits that businesses across the United States are struggling to find people to hire. 

Forget any so-called “rescue.” This progressive piece of legislation is shaping up to be nothing more than another FDR-style New Deal package. It sounds good, but it is really just one of the Democratic Party’s classic, power-hungry handouts in disguise. 

FDR’s New Deal reshaped the political left, leading future Democrats like Biden to believe that a high level of government oversight is reasonable and even accepted in the United States. The New Deal opened the door for potential long-term damage to the fundamental strength of our economy and society. Now, Biden’s American Rescue Plan will finish the job, so long as he continues down the same path as his predecessor. 

During FDR’s term in the midst of the Great Depression, the unemployment rate peaked at 25.6 percent. But, instead of telling Americans to stay home, FDR encouraged them to find jobs. In fact, he even went so far as to create jobs for people. Sure, it is easy to believe that FDR’s vast implementation of government programs was beneficial to the economy, but really, it is the same as Biden’s approach – just more subtle and positioned differently. Incentivizing Americans to stay home is even more destructive than FDR’s temporary and artificial job policies from 100 years ago. 

The unemployment payments today are so high that they are equivalent to someone making $15.95 an hour during a 40-hour work week. It looks like Biden has finally figured out a way to raise the minimum wage after all. 

According to The New York Post, unemployed people are currently receiving $300 per week from the federal government, plus approximately $320 more in state benefits. This averages to about $638 per week, which means that someone can make $30,624 per year by just sitting at home. Biden is paying people to stay on their couch, leaving governors to fight against his backward policy with their own incentives to get people back to work. 

Arizona Republican Governor Doug Ducey, for instance, announced last week that he plans to pay people $2,000 to return to work and that he is no longer accepting federal money starting July 10. Montana’s Republican governor, Greg Gianforte, recently announced a similar plan. Any unemployed individual who accepts a job and maintains it for at least a month will earn a bonus from the federal unemployment grants. While both of these are still not ideal approaches, they are better than knowingly running the economy into the ground, which Biden is doing very well. The Labor Department reported last month that employers added 266,000 new jobs to the market (a significant and disappointing decline), leaving approximately 7.4 million positions open. Both numbers are obvious signs that the economy is ready and has room to grow, and probably would be growing at a very quick pace, if it were not for Biden incentivizing Americans to stay home. 

If he were around today, FDR would surely agree with Biden’s attempts to keep the economy in the government’s grasp. In fact, it was FDR himself who masterminded the idea of big government. And now, Biden is taking it to the extreme. 

FDR favored unions, Biden has passed legislation to increase their power; FDR implemented the federal minimum wage, Biden has just figured out a way to effectively raise it; FDR wanted government control, Biden has cleverly concocted a way to kill small businesses, forcing a majority of Americans to rely on government support from cradle to grave. 

While some may find the American Rescue Plan to be a suitable piece of legislation to help ease the country out of the artificial depression caused by the COVID-19 lockdowns, others know that – like FDR – President Biden does not really care about our families, jobs, homes, education, nor livelihood, as he so claims. Instead, he simply wants us to rely on the government (and, more specifically, Democrat politicians), and the surest way to do that is to keep Americans dependent and docile. 

A Newer Deal, indeed.

Ms. Robinson is a freshman at Chapman University majoring in Strategic & Corporate Communication and a columnist for The Hesperian.

The Left’s Outrageous Attacks on Tim Scott Should Be a Wake-up Call

Picture from Senate Television video via AP

By Ethan Nikfar 

Every year, the president of the United States stands before Congress in monarchical fashion to address what the king-like figure is doing to help solve our problems. Along with it, the opposition party has a designated person with the worst job in Congress: giving a response to that speech. The out-of-power party’s rebuttal to the president is invariably seen as meager and useless in comparison to the main address. 

But last week, Tim Scott, the Republican Senator from South Carolina, became the sole exception to that rule.

Scott gave a terrific response to President Joe Biden’s State of the Union speech – a speech that highlighted the president’s goal of fundamentally realigning the relationship between the government and the people. Biden made constitutionally illiterate claims such as, “It’s time we remembered that we the people are the government,” whereas Scott acknowledged limits on the government’s power and expressed optimism for the country’s future that stemmed from outside Washington’s schemes.        

But after the address was over, Scott became subject to the extreme vitriol of the left. Why? Because in his speech, Scott, a black man, had the temerity to say, “Hear me clearly: America is not a racist country.”

With that, the left exploded with outrage. The senator was endlessly attacked and had racial slurs hurled his way. “Uncle Tim” began trending on Twitter and remained on the platform for the entire day. Leftists immediately demanded that Scott accept his lesser, victimhood status and bow down to his mobbish saviors. 

The left’s disgraceful reaction was particularly bizarre considering that Vice President Kamala Harris agreed with Scott’s statement about race in America, yet she received little to no blowback for her observation. 

Throughout the next few days, Democrats across the country attempted to portray their disgust that Scott, a black man, was chosen to lead the response. For example, The View’s co-host, Sunny Hostin, claimed, “He was chosen because he is the only black Republican Senator. He is that person.” 

In reality, Scott was not chosen by Republicans solely based on the color of his skin. Instead, he actually has political views and life experiences that make him uniquely qualified to give that specific speech, and to best address the disingenuous claims Biden was making about race in America.

Scott has faced racism in his everyday life – lending him credibility to speak on the matter of race in America. He also co-wrote the police reform bill last summer that Democrats filibustered before even allowing it to be debated on the floor. In a bit of an unsurprising twist, Democrats used the same filibuster they now decry as a “Jim Crow relic” to stymie a black Senator’s proposal. 

Regardless, it is significantly less divisive and wrong for Tim Scott to be chosen to lead the State of the Union response than it is to select a Vice President purely based on her gender and skin color. If you are wondering who may have done such a thing, look no further than our current president, who openly admitted to vetting vice presidential candidates based on their gender and skin color. But when Joe Biden did precisely that, we heard only praise from the left. 

That really suggests one thing – parrot the woke left’s viewpoints, and you can say what you want about race and emphasize its importance (or lack thereof) without pushback. Suggest, however, that the left may be wrong, and you suddenly turn into an evil ignoramus who is withdrawn from the reality of race in this country. Such is the pamphlet to our current political discourse. 

This insane treatment has not been limited to just Tim Scott. Nikki Haley, the former UN Ambassador and Governor of South Carolina, has had similar slurs directed her way due to her Punjabi heritage. 

To the Democratic Party, there is only one way of life for anyone non-white: to be Democrats. Anyone accused of breaking that orthodoxy is subjected to cruel, vile harassment. 

The irony is that even though Democrats howled to the moon that the Trump-led GOP was the party of white nationalism, the GOP made significant inroads with minority voters in 2020.

Aside from that, Senator Scott deserves better; he is a decent man in indecent times. But to Democrats, his character and the merit of his ideas are of zero importance. The only things that matter are the words “black” and “Republican.” 

Progressives who think they get to decide who qualifies as black have not only cost us an honest conversation about race, but they have also revealed themselves to be a party of race-obsessed partisans unwilling to tolerate opposing ideas. 

Mr. Nikfar is a sophomore at Chapman University majoring in Pre-Pharmacy and a columnist for The Hesperian.

The Scientific Establishment Has Lost Our Trust

By Ethan Nikfar

Over a year ago, a deadly new virus struck the world, forcing us to entirely adapt and revamp our lifestyles to prevent its spread. In response, we embraced public health officials, particularly in the federal government, to make sense of it. But today, those same public health officials have become increasingly unreasonable, withdrawn from reality, and unwilling to accept new evidence that challenges their outdated stances. 

Public health officials have done a ton of admirable work through the duration of the pandemic. But as the figures Americans are looking up to for guidance in uncharted waters, they have an obligation to define and explain risks associated with the pandemic accurately. 

Their job is not to coax us into behaving a certain way or lie to us about the data. Unfortunately, over the last several months, such distasteful behavior has become all too common for members of the scientific establishment. 

Among the culprits are Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert (also the highest-paid official in the federal government), the CDC, and FDA. 

Let us start with Dr. Fauci. At the beginning of the pandemic, Fauci was a welcome sight for most Americans; he was the voice of reason we listened to in order to keep up with the latest news and updates on the virus. For the first few months of the pandemic, he did this relatively solidly. But since, he has become intentionally misleading, power-hungry, and relishing in his newfound celebrity status. 

Fauci began the pandemic in early March by discouraging mask usage. In an interview on 60 Minutes on March 8, 2020, Fauci stated, “there’s no reason to be walking around with a mask.” This was in an attempt to influence Americans to not wear masks so that healthcare workers would not face a shortage. But Fauci is a public health official. His job is to convey accurate public health information to the public – not to try and influence our behavior by tricking us into acting a certain way. Sadly, the deception was not limited to mask usage. 

Fauci also deliberately shifted the goalposts when discussing the percentage of Americans who would need to be vaccinated to reach herd immunity. Initially stating that only 60 to 70 percent would need to be vaccinated, Fauci nudged the number up to 80 to 90 percent of the population. In an interview with the New York Times‘ Donald McNeil Jr., Fauci admitted to moving the goalposts “partly on his gut feeling that the country is finally ready to hear what he really thinks.” 

Fauci also praised Governor Andrew Cuomo’s handling of the pandemic. Fauci, of course, will not mention the fact that New York has the second-highest COVID-19 death rate per million in America. Nor will he tell you that Cuomo signed an executive order to force COVID-positive patients back into nursing homes, killing nearly 13,000 elderly residents. Additionally, the governor’s aides tried to cover up and undercount the number of nursing home deaths for months to avoid federal investigation. For Fauci, New York was worthy of praise. The state’s citizens probably think differently.

When Fauci was questioned about the risk of COVID-19 spread in migrant detention facilities that force migrants into extremely close quarters, he stated, “I have nothing to do with the border . . . Having me down at the border, that’s really not what I do.” Really? Fauci has been more than happy to insert himself into other discussions, such as the travel ban, in the past year. He just does not want to criticize the Biden Administration.

Fauci criticized Texas for lifting its mask mandate. Yet, more than a month and a half after Governor Greg Abbott rescinded the mandate, the seven-day average of daily deaths in Texas is at its lowest point since early July of 2020. Daily cases have declined at a similar rate. When asked about this, Fauci stated, “You know, there are a lot of things that go into that. I mean, when you say that they’ve had a lot of the activity on the outside like ball games, I’m not really quite sure. It could be they’re doing things outdoors.” Fauci lacks the prerequisite understanding that behavioral patterns do not shift when the government announces a law that is impossible to enforce. Many on the political left (seemingly including Fauci) also seem not to fathom that people can wear masks without a mandate. Perhaps that can be attributed to their worldview that individuals cannot make rational decisions without the force of government compelling them to do so.

In late February, Fauci maintained that vaccinated individuals should not go to indoor restaurants or crowded movie theaters. Curious, given that data from Israel found that vaccinated individuals are at very low risk of transmitting the virus to others. If being vaccinated does not allow you to resume engaging in everyday activities, then what will? 

Fauci’s recommendations for vaccinated individuals are not only ridiculous, but they actively discourage people from getting vaccinated. If being vaccinated does not change what you are allowed to do, then why would a healthy 25-year-old whose parents and grandparents have been vaccinated now choose to go through the hassle of getting vaccinated himself? 

Fauci should instead be promoting the message that the faster we get vaccinated, the sooner we can return to everyday life. But he will simply not let that happen. 

It took Fauci until late April to announce that vaccinated people can start to unmask outdoors. He stated, “It’s pretty common sense now that the outdoor risk is really quite low.” If so, what took him so long? 

But even now, his stamp of approval is limited to certain outdoor activities. 

Not only has Fauci deliberately downplayed the efficacy of vaccines by recommending that vaccinated individuals cannot go and enjoy their lives, but he has also mirrored Democrats’ misguided arguments about perpetually delaying school reopenings.

Questionable behavior was unfortunately not limited to just Fauci. The CDC has done its part too. 

The CDC has continued to maintain its recommendation that 90 percent of schools remain partially closed. This is even as studies have shown that children are not at risk of receiving nor transmitting the virus, and teachers are at no more at risk than the general public. Schools have been safe to reopen the entire time – especially now that so many school staff have been vaccinated. 

Moreover, the CDC’s summer camp guidance insists that kids over the age of two and all adults (regardless of whether they have been vaccinated) need to wear masks at all times. This makes zero sense. As studies have documented, not only are the vaccines tremendously effective at preventing spread, but young children have never been a key vector of transmission. Combine that with the humidity of the summer, and the CDC is actively recommending the needless suffering of kids. 

Not only is the CDC’s guidance scientifically illiterate, but when any organization makes recommendations that are lacking in reason and logic, people stop listening to them. 

On April 27, in another instance where public health officials discouraged people from getting vaccinated, the CDC updated a chart on the activities that vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals can safely do. According to them, when indoors, vaccinated people still need to wear masks at all times. There is no evidence to suggest that vaccinated people are vectors of transmission. The vaccines are a scientific miracle; we should treat them as such. 

The FDA is certainly not devoid of criticism either. Earlier this month, it recommended pausings Johnson & Johnson vaccines across the country. Why? You may ask. There were six blood clots found in vaccinated patients out of 6.8 million people. The FDA wanted to pause the J&J vaccine because one in a million people who received the vaccine developed a blood clot. Let us put that into perspective – in the U.S., the odds of being struck by lightning in any given year is 1 in 500,000 – a better chance than developing a blood clot due to the vaccine. Not only is the FDA’s decision nonsensical, but now it likely makes people increasingly skeptical of receiving the vaccine because they are even more worried about side effects that are extremely rare. 

What do we get from the FDA in return? Likely only a warning put on the side of a label that no one outside of a vaccine administrator will ever read. How many more lives would have been saved due to the vaccine if not for the FDA’s questionable cost-benefit analysis?

If it were up to the public health officials in the federal government, kids all across the country would not be able to go to school, and we would still be largely forced to the confines of our own homes. 

Our scientific establishment has maintained that to avoid risk, Americans should give up all that made life great without considering tradeoffs and reality. “Avoiding risk” has now actively become risk-taking. In actuality, most Americans have been participating in the majority of their normal life for months. By denying that reality, public health officials will continue to be ignored. But in the end, they may deserve that. 

Mr. Nikfar is a sophomore at Chapman University majoring in Pre-Pharmacy and a columnist for The Hesperian.

Biden Promised Bipartisanship, but Now He Just Bumbles and Backtracks

By Kate Robinson

April 30 marks President Joe Biden’s 100th day in office. What started as a pleading call for unity and bipartisanship is shaping up to be nothing more than a far-left train wreck. Thus far, the 78-year-old commander-in-chief has proven that his administration is incapable of exhibiting competent leadership and clear articulation of its policies. 

President Biden is so concerned about behaving in direct opposition to Donald Trump’s widely-criticized demeanor that he is turning himself into a weak and confusing ruler. This is seen in the way that his frustrations are masked through mass signings of executive orders (currently totaling over 60), his refusal to meet Republicans halfway on the COVID-19 stimulus bill, and his failure to elaborate on his radical policy proposals, such as his ultimate thoughts on a vaccine passport or his inability to explain the truth about his so-called infrastructure bill, which is really more of a progressive spending measure in disguise. So much for an honest leader who pledged to reach across the aisle. 

Upon entering office, President Biden had one important task that the American people were counting on him to fix: the COVID-19 pandemic. He knew about this challenge before the inauguration, giving him ample time to devise his Seven Point Plan for tackling the virus, set a “goal” of 100 million shots in the first 100 days (even though the Trump administration was already close to accomplishing this) and work with governors to efficiently distribute the vaccine. 

Even with the benefit of time, President Biden admitted that even he did not have control over his own agenda. “There’s nothing we can do to change the trajectory of the pandemic in the next several months.” How is that for a confident leader? 

Perhaps that is why, when migrants unexpectedly flocked to the southern border a few weeks ago in the highest numbers that the United States has seen in three years, the Biden administration handled the event in the way that any weak leader would – by blaming the “dismantled” and “unworkable system” (as White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki deemed it) on the former president. 

Anyone who followed the recent developments at the border would know that it was not Mr. Trump’s sound immigration policies of green card limitations and refugee restrictions (which were especially necessary during a pandemic) that were suddenly beginning to cause damage. Instead, it is simply that our current president had no plan for such a crisis and panicked. Perhaps this is why journalists were not initially given access to facilities and why children were haphazardly granted permission to enter the United States.

Core policy intentions aside, we actually have a President who cannot properly handle unforeseen challenges, let alone ones he was prepared for. No wonder thousands of migrants thought they could get away with entering our country illegally.

Where is the unity and bipartisanship that President Biden constantly preached about? Where is the strong, “moderate” leader that claimed we would be able to trust and count on? President Biden is governing the country as if Democrats slaughtered Republicans in November,  as if more than 74 million Americans did not vote for his opponent. His narrow victory was certainly no mandate. 

I would think that of everyone in Washington, D.C., President Biden, a former 36-year senator and two-term vice president, would be the first to recognize a leader whose agenda is wishy-washy and very misleading. But apparently, old age and being a career politician have gotten the best of him. 

President Biden still has a chance to recover and make his first term a decent one. After all, he lucked out with an evenly-split senate and a close-to-equal House of Representatives. A strong and fair leader would use this opportunity to advocate for compromise and bipartisan policies – a rare commodity in politics. 

The United States is witnessing a leader who has no plan, switches his tune depending on the day, and is still obsessing over replicating Obama’s presidency and trashing Trump’s. Our country deserves a president who can work with both sides of the aisle and be upfront about his views on policies, even when he might receive backlash or opposition. Unfortunately, President Biden is doing none of this. 

To that, I say, “C’mon, man!”

Ms. Robinson is a freshman at Chapman University majoring in Strategic & Corporate Communication and a columnist for The Hesperian.

The Bullies at the Panther Still Have Not Calmed Down

By The Hesperian’s Editorial Board

This editorial serves as a response to The Panther, who recently accused our publication of many horrendous acts, such as “actively putting faculty at risk of criticism.” (Yes, they really denounced us for that.) This is our response:

On Monday, April 19, The Hesperian published a comprehensive report about certain Chapman faculty members’ willingness (or lack thereof) in calling for an investigation into the disgusting racism of their colleague. For those readers who do not know: Chapman professor Liam O’Mara sent an image of a KKK hood to black political commentator, Candace Owens. Klan hoods have always been associated with racial intimidation and lynchings of black Americans, which is why O’Mara’s racist tweet was interpreted by Owens and many others as a racial threat. 

Credit: liamomaraiv/Twitter (the tweet has since been deleted)

The 159 faculty in question were reached out to specifically because of their willingness to condemn another professor, Dr. Eastman, for his controversial conduct just a few months prior. We thought that those same faculty would be equally zealous about demanding that their racist colleague be held accountable… We were obviously mistaken.

One of the professors we reached out to refused to comment on O’Mara, and instead encouraged the Panther Newspaper to write an article attempting to bomb our report. Perhaps he was opposed to our article because it was going to expose the 159 faculty members’ uncharacteristic silence as racial and political hypocrisy. It should be noted that the 159 faculty members’ public statement condemning Eastman was mysteriously deleted after The Hesperian reached out to them. Local activist professor Tom Zoellner was the moderator of the page. (An archived copy of the now-deleted statement signed by the 159 faculty can be found here.)

In an apparent effort to beat our publishing date, The Panther eagerly contacted Hesperian columnist Justin Buckner last Wednesday.

Buckner’s answer was apparently not satisfactory, so The Panther contacted Hesperian editor Abbey Umali. 

Umali’s response was also apparently not satisfactory, so The Panther sent her an additional 19 long-winded questions. Umali exhibited great courtesy in, again, responding to their email, explaining that these additional questions would all be answered in our upcoming report.

The Hesperian had responded to The Panther’s request for comment THREE TIMES. The Panther never published any of those responses. Three times The Hesperian reiterated to The Panther’s editor-in-chief that no signatures were “forged,” nor were any signatures going to be used without “affirmative written consent,” as clearly stated in the original email to faculty. 

On Monday, April 19th, after The Hesperian had published its report, The Panther chose to ignore our responses and our report, instead electing to publish a futile hit piece called “The Hesperian needs to resign,” which was undoubtedly their attempt to imitate our past editorial headline, “The Bullies at The Panther Should Calm Down.” It was in our editorial that we questioned why The Panther will write so many articles denouncing the Chapman administration and yet continue to operate with the administration’s money. We correctly noted that this was contradictory behavior for “a self-proclaimed independent Chapman student newspaper.” 

We at The Hesperian do not blame just The Panther for being misinformed, because it was an activist professor who deliberately misrepresented our email to them. Perhaps The Panther’s uncharacteristically speedy reporting is due to the same professor desperately wanting their article published before ours. If so, we find it remarkable that one professor can so easily weaponize a student publication as his own propaganda tool. 

While it took The Panther zero days to report on the Hesperian’s report, it took them 20 days to report on O’Mara’s racist tweet, and only after The Hesperian called out the blatant hypocrisy of The Panther in our April 2 editorial, “Chapman Professor Sends KKK Hood to Black Woman. Why Doesn’t Chapman Care?” Why was The Panther so intensely interested in Eastman (they published 15 articles about him) and so intensely disinterested in the racist conduct of O’Mara, even after it was reported on by multiple large news outlets? It is a troubling question that we doubt will be answered.

In The Panther’s editorial, they describe our reporting as “inflammatory.” Many readers were left wondering which part of our report was “inflammatory.” Was it when The Hesperian quoted faculty in their own words? Or when we paired their statements on Eastman with their statements on O’Mara? 

The Panther’s editorial also accused The Hesperian of “blackmailing veteran academics at Chapman into heeding [The Hesperian’s] request to investigate O’Mara.” This puzzled many readers as well. Did The Hesperian “blackmail” faculty by giving them an option to not have their names on our letter? Additionally, every faculty member we named in our report gave permission to be quoted.

The Hesperian also gave the professors every opportunity to explain themselves. Nearly all of them refused to. How is that blackmail? The reason why the vast majority of the 159 did not attempt to explain themselves is because there is no good explanation for their moral inconsistency. The faculty painted themselves into a corner with their blatant hypocrisy. That’s the point. That is our story. It is not blackmail nor inflammatory to reveal that fact.

The Panther also falsely stated that The Hesperian tried to “threaten” faculty and “provide [them] an ultimatum” in our April 14 email. As we state in our recent report, “The 159 faculty members were specifically solicited to co-sign the ethics inquiry request because of their prior involvement last December in co-signing a statement denouncing John Eastman, the former dean of Chapman’s Fowler School of Law.” These faculty had voluntarily and publicly inserted themselves into public controversy already. They made themselves available for media inquiry. 

In fact, The Hesperian had contacted the exact same list of professors a week before (April 8) requesting “a brief statement for The Hesperian Newspaper in response to O’Mara’s public racial intimidation of a black woman.” Not a single professor was willing to condemn O’Mara’s racism. So, we sent out our April 14 email because we wanted to be fair and balanced. We wanted to present their side of the story. We made clear to them that we were willing to publish whatever they say. We sincerely wanted to know their explanations, yet these faculty members thought that we were somehow trying to trap them. 

Also, we do not have to coddle grown faculty members. They know just as well as anybody else what is legal and what is allowed under Chapman’s code of conduct. It was common sense that their name would not go on the letter if they did not give their consent. If we did do that, then there would have been legal ramifications for us. We still graciously responded to many professors assuring them of the obvious.

The ridiculous handwringing by some faculty (and their lackeys in The Panther) is a red herring meant to distract from their obvious hypocrisy. It is not accurate nor justified. 

We did not publish a lot of faculty names that we could have published. Many of these professors have been shameful, yet we elected to not shame them. The Hesperian has pursued this story with objectivity, fairness, and courtesy.

To the propagandists at The Panther, 

You, and the vast majority of the 159 faculty, are upset because you do not know how to justify your racist hypocrisy. So, you instead invent strawman arguments.

What kind of newspaper does not even cite our news story? It seems cowardly to try to prevent your own readers from having all the facts. So much for a publication that claims to be “storytellers of fact, not propaganda.” Your demand for us to “get off [your] campus” is exactly what we would expect from bullies who loathe different opinions.

You are free to disagree with our views and what we choose to publish. That is the beauty of freedom of speech and the press. We have faith that our readers will see through the red herrings, look at the real issues we have addressed, and support our missions to raise awareness of racism that was hypocritically swept under the rug, and our ultimate mission to promote intellectual diversity at Chapman. 

Chapman Faculty Refuse to Condemn O’Mara Over Racist Tweet

By the Staff of The Hesperian

A solicitation to 159 faculty members asking them to join a request for an ethics probe into a Chapman University history professor’s racist attacks on a popular conservative black woman has opened a chasm of rage that threatens to expose Chapman faculty to charges of racial hypocrisy.

On March 23, Dr. Liam O’Mara, a Chapman history professor, sent a tweet to black conservative commentator Candace Owens featuring an image of a napkin resembling a Ku Klux Klan hood with the message “Yikes. You may have dropped this.” Klan hoods have always been associated with racial intimidation and lynchings of black Americans, which is why O’Mara’s racist tweet has been interpreted as a legitimate racial threat by some people, including Owens.

Credit: liamomaraiv/Twitter (the tweet has since been deleted)

The Hesperian drafted a request for an ethics inquiry into O’Mara’s harassment of Owens. The request is being sent today to Chapman’s chief ethics compliance officer, Gail Nishida. 

The Hesperian’s email to faculty members sought their permission to add their name to the request. Of the 23 who responded to the solicitation, just three faculty members agreed to allow us to include their names with the request. The majority of responses received by The Hesperian consisted of threats of retaliation, intimidation and indignation.  

The 159 faculty members were specifically solicited to co-sign the ethics inquiry request because of their prior involvement last December in co-signing a statement denouncing John Eastman, the former dean of Chapman’s Fowler School of Law. Eastman had filed legal challenges on President Donald Trump’s behalf questioning the integrity of the presidential election’s outcome. 

The faculty statement (which was mysteriously removed from the internet within the last few days after The Hesperian had emailed the 159 faculty members) condemned Eastman’s representation of Trump into election irregularities, characterizing his legal arguments as representative of views which are “contrary to the core values of this university.” The statement added that Eastman’s role in representing Trump “should be regarded as an embarrassment.” 

Eastman subsequently resigned from his tenured position under pressure from his peers in the faculty, whom he contended had created “a hostile environment.” The timing of the faculty statement’s removal coinciding with the emails sent to faculty appears calculated to conceal the foundational basis for The Hesperian’s purpose for contacting the 159 faculty members. The website displaying the statement identifies Chapman English Professor Tom Zoellner as the moderator of the page. (An archived copy of the now-deleted statement signed by the 159 faculty can be found here.)

In addition to soliciting faculty members to join its call for an ethics inquiry, The Hesperian reached out to Chapman President Daniele Struppa, O’Mara’s department head, Dr. Alexander Bay, and black law Professor Bobby Dexter seeking their response to O’Mara’s racist attack on Owens. Both Struppa and Bay declined to comment, and Dexter did not respond at all. The Hesperian followed up asking each of them whether they believe that O’Mara acted unethically, violated any university policies, and whether they think there should be an investigation into the racist conduct. None of them responded.

The majority of faculty members responding to the ethics inquiry solicitation expressed fierce indignation, some even threatening legal action. While refusing to explain their reasons for withholding their consent to add their name to the request, some faculty members responded instead with long-winded lectures. Some faculty requested additional information regarding O’Mara’s behavior. Even after providing them with the extra information, The Hesperian never received another response from any of them.

The Hesperian’s solicitation to faculty is reprinted here in full:

Dear faculty member,

We are sure you have heard of Dr. Liam O’Mara’s recent racist social media attack on Candace Owens, a popular conservative black political commentator. Dr. O’Mara had the temerity and remarkably poor judgment to create an imitation KKK hood and send it to Ms. Owens. It is difficult to understand what motivates an educator to engage in such open racial hostility. The presentation of KKK hoods to black Americans has always been associated with racial intimidation and lynchings. We believe that Dr. O’Mara violated numerous university conduct codes.

This is Dr. O’Mara’s racist tweet:

Dr. O’Mara’s racist tweet became public in the OC Register and other major news outlets, which in turn has blemished Chapman’s reputation. The OC Register article can be read for free here.

We are reaching out to you specifically because you recently co-signed a statement to the Chapman administration objecting to former Chapman Law Dean Dr. John Eastman’s representation of former President Trump challenging election irregularities and expressed the view that you “have had enough” and condemned his conduct as being “contrary to the core values of this university and should be regarded as an embarrassment.” Certainly, you must agree that O’Mara’s conduct is equally contrary to the core values of this university and should be regarded as an embarrassment.

How could Dr. O’Mara’s racist conduct not invite an ethics investigation and discipline? We believe it mandates such scrutiny. Yet despite the opprobrium of Dr. O’Mara’s conduct blemishing Chapman’s reputation, the administration has thus far failed to publicly condemn Dr. O’Mara’s conduct or disassociate the university from it.

We therefore are including your name as a signatory of a letter (attachment can be found below) we are sending to Chapman’s chief ethics compliance officer, making an official “report of a violation of the code of ethics,” and calling on the Administration to condemn Dr. O’Mara and have him face discipline for his repugnant and racist stunt.

Please respond to this email before Friday, close of business, confirming your willingness to sign the request. We require either your affirmative written consent or affirmative written lack of consent. If you do not consent, please explain why you are withholding your consent, as we intend to publish a story identifying all faculty members who refuse to sign the letter.

The email was signed by The Hesperian’s editors, Ryan Marhoefer, a former Chapman student and co-founder of The Hesperian, and Abbey Umali, a current student.

O’Mara’s tweet to Owens was not the first time he had directed racism at her. Here is another KKK-related tweet from O’Mara to Owens last May:

Credit: liamomaraiv/Twitter

“Liam has followed and harassed me for no other reason than my being a black Republican, for approximately two years,” Owens told the OC Register. “I had never responded to him previously, but the Klansmen hood was a step too far.” As Owens tweeted about O’Mara’s racial harassment,

Owens has opened a criminal complaint into his harassment of her. O’Mara subsequently offered a dubious apology, blaming his “white privilege” and attempting to justify his actions as “trying to criticize… the rhetoric, not her… I was saying that [Owens’] argument should be relegated to the past.” In the same apology, O’Mara again accused Owens of promoting white supremacy. In a public comment on The Hesperian’s Instagram, Owens said, “If it isn’t obvious – no, I’m not a white supremacist. I would be more forgiving to [O’Mara] if he didn’t keep lying.”

O’Mara, then a Democrat congressional candidate, dropped out of his race after his campaign staff revolted in response to his tweet. Dr. O’Mara’s congressional campaign staff issued a statement condemning O’Mara for his “act of hate” and “racist actions [that have] materially harmed the African American community.” The statement said the staff members “neither condone nor forgive his racist actions.” The Riverside County Democratic Party also denounced O’Mara’s actions as “wrong and completely unacceptable,” adding that their party will never tolerate “discrimination, harassment, and racism.”

O’Mara’s apology – delivered only after his campaign staff and party denounced him – seemed to satisfy some faculty members.

A physical therapy professor attempted to justify her not signing the ethics inquiry by saying, “Unlike Dr Eastman, who did not apologize for a series of racist and inflammatory/incorrect statements, Dr. O’Mara has apologized for his offensive tweet.”

Curiously, Dr. Peter Simi, who teaches a course at Chapman called “White Supremacy in America,” refused to sign the ethics inquiry request. Simi said that he does condemn O’Mara’s tweet, but, “more importantly, Dr. O’Mara has acknowledged that it was wrong and apologized for the Tweet.” Simi refused to sign The Hesperian’s ethics inquiry request because it was “unnecessarily confusing.” 

Tom Zoellner, who supported the “outrage machine” against Eastman resulting in his resignation, dismissed legitimate concerns of O’Mara’s racism and white supremacy by telling The Panther, “[O’Mara] recognizes his mistake and has offered an unequivocal apology, but the conservative outrage machine is still eager to twist this into something that it isn’t and destroy his career in the process.” 

A physics professor explained his refusal to sign the ethics inquiry request by saying, “Liam O’Mara’s tweet of a KKK hood is racist and I condemn it.  However, I refuse to be a signatory of your letter…  On the other hand, O’Mara is an adjunct professor.  He is hired by contract on a semester-by-semester basis…  The chair of the History department or the dean of Wilkinson college can remove him from his teaching position by just not renewing his contract for the next semester.  They do not need to give reasons or conduct an investigation in order to do this.  Therefore, if you think that O’Mara’s conduct is unacceptable then your complaint would be better directed to the chair of history or the dean of Wilkinson college rather than to the upper-level university administration.”

However, when The Hesperian reached out to O’Mara’s department chair, Alexander Bay, for a response, Bay refused to comment on O’Mara’s behavior. When reached out to again one week later, Bay did not respond.

As an excuse for not signing this ethics inquiry request, a biological sciences professor said, “Being a non-white and non-male and signatory might invite significant levels of harassment from anyone who might read your coverage. This is extremely stressful and simply unfair for those of us in precarious positions to begin with.”

Of course, the same fear of harassment did not deter the exact same professors from publicly speaking out against the perceived racism of Eastman. The biology professor claimed that due to “personal issues” she is “simply too exhausted at the moment to have this type of battle.”

Although the solicitation to faculty explicitly stated that The Hesperian required each faculty member’s “affirmative written consent or affirmative written lack of consent” before adding an individual’s name to the request, many of those responding didn’t seem to have read nor understood it, fiercely protesting their name’s inclusion on the draft email, some calling the draft ethics inquiry request’s reference to the 159 Eastman statement participants as “unethical” and “unprofessional.”

At least one faculty member misrepresented The Hesperian’s email to school administrators and to The Panther newspaper. That faculty member misreported that The Hesperian had already sent a letter to the chief compliance officer, Nishida, with professors’ names on it without their consent. Multiple faculty members complained to campus administrators that The Hesperian’s emails “constitute a violation of university policy.” Their complaints were determined to be unfounded. 

The flurry of indignation from the faculty consisted of condescending lectures and either veiled or direct threats of legal action. Here are a few of the responses from faculty members who specifically refused to give us permission to add their name to the request:

A peace studies professor, without understanding what The Hesperian was requesting in the email, suggested The Hesperian would be liable if her name were incorrectly used: “Note that it would be libelous of you to claim that faculty have signed a petition merely because you put their name there.”

This professor inconsistently endorsed the censure statement targeting Eastman. She told Voice of OC, “Given that Chapman has made diversity and inclusion a central value of the university – especially over the last decade – we felt we needed to take a stronger stand. There’s a great need at Chapman to demonstrate what we truly value.”

An English teaching assistant leveled an incorrect accusation at The Hesperian: “It was brought to my attention that I was being added to a list of faculty who refused to participate in a petition.  I was rather alarmed when I heard about this because this is the first time that I have received any correspondence from your publication.  This is very unprofessional conduct.  Please remove my name from any and all articles.  I do not give consent or permission for you to publish my name under any capacity.  If you refuse to do so, I will take action.”

Don Cardinal, a former dean of educational studies, characterized the request as a form of “bullying” and “strong arm tactics”: “I do not grant you the right to invade my personal freedoms. This includes this current attempt at intimidation (‘requiring’ me to perform) and the subsequent request for me to explain my action or inaction… I do not grant you the right, to question my legal and moral behavior and demand a rationale from me… I do not respond well to attempts at bullying behavior that you exhibit in your attached letter, especially during these demanding times. Your strong arm tactics are unambiguously in bad taste. And, yes, you may publish my statement. Please note I have copied the Chapman Faculty Senate President and the Dean of Students to assure that my note to you is not misrepresented by you.”

A film professor adamantly refused permission without explaining her reasoning: “Please remove my name from this document. Please consider this legal notification that you do NOT have permission to use my name now or at any time in the future.  Please do not email me again for any reason.” (The Hesperian responded once, respectfully requesting an explanation for the benefit of our readers. Without responding, she unsuccessfully reported The Hesperian to Chapman’s Dean of Students for violating university policy.

A history professor seemed to be inconsistent in his responses: “Do not sign my name to this letter. If you do, under false pretenses, I will take appropriate action.” In a petition calling for Chapman “to reiterate its commitment to diversity and inclusion” in regard to Eastman’s controversy, this same professor had said that the university needs to “state publicly its values in this controversy.”

Only three faculty members have consented to their names being added to the ethics inquiry request. Out of respect for the likely possibility of their peers retaliating against them, their names will not be published, though their signatures will still be included on the private ethics inquiry request sent to Nishida.

Two of the faculty members simply gave their consent while the other, a music professor, elaborated. “Thank you for this.  Yes, I would like you to include my name on the letter.  This is not acceptable behavior for a Chapman professor.  The whole story is filled with surprising twists and turns!”

In preparing its requests, The Hesperian consulted with its unpaid legal counsel, Bill Becker, president of Freedom X, a non-profit public interest law firm. “The threats of retaliation constitute an unconstitutional prior restraint in violation of the First Amendment’s freedom of the press clause,” Becker said. “It really is remarkable to see the level of hypocrisy on display here. Just three among 159 instructors recognize O’Mara’s overt unethical act of racism. The sanctimonious refusal of others to join in the request speaks loudly to their hypocrisy regarding racial justice. Are black conservatives considered fair targets by the leftist academy?” 

He added that The Hesperian acted properly when it included the names of the public Eastman statement participants in the proposed draft request. “The Hesperian in no way suggested that the names on the draft represented their willingness to endorse the request. It was very clear what the point of featuring them was. Each of those faculty members lent their names to the Eastman statement to express their outrage. It seems logical they would want to be morally consistent by fulminating against O’Mara’s unethical behavior. Their indignation is laughable.”

Becker, a former journalist, continued, “The news story is that they are not just inconsistent, but hypocritically so, and I think they know that.”

The Hesperian will be filing its request with Nishida today. It will include the names of the principled three faculty members brave enough to defy the campus orthodoxy.

In response to a question about the power of the faculty after Eastman’s forced departure, an anonymous, high-ranking official familiar with the inner workings of Chapman University told The Hesperian, “The inmates are running the asylum now.”