I was unexpectedly delighted with and proud of the letter in Friday morning's paper ("Tech doesn't stifle rights, Aug. 23") responding to conservative activist Penny Nance's recent criticisms of Virginia Tech's orientation message to this year's incoming freshmen. Her contention that it was inappropriate and in violation of the the First Amendment is not consistent with these Republican students' views of their university. You don't even need to know what she said to recognize a deliberately provocative and prejudicial position, as evidenced by her language: "leftist propaganda" and "indefensible and discriminatory behavior of the liberal campus bullies" suggest serious offenses indeed, when, to my recollection, her objections related to pronoun usage and references to Indian groups whose ancestors once lived on the the Virginia Tech campus.
Thankfully, four officers of "College Republicans at Virginia Tech" chose to avoid a shrill, reactive response. Instead, they clearly, firmly and respectfully disagreed with Ms. Nance, stating that her divisive message "epitomizes the polarized far right in a way that is intolerant, disrespectful and not how we want others to view our organization, conservatives, or the Republican Party as a whole." Embracing a philosophy of "respect, love, and inclusivity," they object to the notion that their First Amendment rights were violated, and praise the university for fostering an environment where everyone feels safe to express themselves. I was as impressed with the manner of expression as the content. Bravo, young Republicans, bravo!