VITAL SIGNSrnEDUCATIONrnThe Forced Fundingrnof StudentrnRadicalismrnby Scott SouthworthrnIhappen to be a conservative, a Christian,rnand white. I am also in the military,rnand I disapprove of homosexuality.rnAt the University of Wisconsin, there isrnlittle tolerance for this combination ofrncharacteristics. As a student there, Irnserved as the symbol of all that’s wrongrnwith the world. My checkbook showedrnjust the opposite, however; I supportedrnthe International Socialist Organization,rnthe Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual CampusrnCenter, the abortion advocacy of thernWomen’s Center, and the radical environmentalismrnof the UW-Greens (offspringrnof Ralph Nader’s Green Party).rnWith my money, the left endured with arnvirulence well known at most public universities.rnTo any outsider—especially anyonernwho knows my political and ideologicalrnbeliefs—my support appears ridiculous.rnIt was. However, it was not due to somerngut-level feeling of “political correctness”rnor “multiculturalism” on my part.rnThis support was coerced. The pricernfor noncompliance? No grades; no graduation.rnDuring my four years of undergraduaternstudy and one semester of law schoolrnat the university, I had again and againrnexpressed my outrage at the universityrnpolicy of utilizing mandatory studentrnfees to fund the political and ideologicalrnadvocacy of private student groups. Finally,rnanother law student, and one ofrnmy best friends, Keith Bannach, told mernabout a Christian legal foundationrnnamed the Alliance Defense Fundrn(ADF). He encouraged me to contactrnthem about filing a lawsuit, and I Hnallyrndid so in February 1995. I learned fromrnScott Phillips, the executive director ofrnthe ADF, that his organization did notrnrepresent people but rather funded worthyrncases approved by a board of directorsrnafter the attorney on the case sent in anrnapplication for funding. However, herngave me the name of a Christian attorneyrnfrom Fairfax, Virginia, who had successfullyrnapplied for funding in the past.rnHis name was Jordan Lorence.rnI called Jordan immediately, and hernagreed to take the case. The AlliancernDefense Fund agreed soon thereafter tornfull funding. It was my job, as a quasiexpertrnon the mechanism for fundingrnthese groups, to figure out a way to explainrnthe university’s system to him. Irnhad helped shut down a previous studentrngovernment during my last year asrnan undergraduate, and had fought thernimplementation of the new, similarlyrnstructured student government that hadrnformed under the helping hand of thernuniversity administration.rnThe University of Wisconsin operatesrnunder two large financial pools of money:rntuition and student fees. Tuition paysrnfor the professors’ salaries, most universityrnbuildings, the maintenance of thernlawns, the infrastructure, etc. Studentrnfees fund a variety of services, and are dividedrninto two small but separate poolsrnof money: allocable and nonallocable.rnThe nonallocable fees fund the HealthrnServices, the recreational facilities, andrnthe student unions. Like tuition, studentsrnhave no control over the amount orrnrecipient of these funds. The pool of allocablernfees—totaling nearly $500,000—rnis reserved for the student “government,”rnwhich can spend as it wishes,rnpending approval by university officials.rnBoth student governments that existedrnduring my study at the universityrnserved their leftist clients well by funnelingrncash to many radical groups. To maskrntheir cash cow, however, they also passedrna few dollars on to nonpolitical or ideologicalrnactivities (e.g., a bus service onrncampus). Additionally, the student governmentrnand the administration employedrntwo well-known tactics to avoidrnany questions from would-be dissenters:rnsecrecy and extensive bureaucracy.rnWhen a student (or parent) received thern”Fee/Tuition” bill, no explanation followedrnas to what “fee” meant. No delineationrnexisted on the bill to warn studentsrnand parents that their moneyrnfunded radical agendas. In fact, if studentsrnwanted to find out where thern”fees” went, they would have to queryrnthe administration, which sends out arnnondescript list of all the allocable andrnnonallocable funds which make up studentrn”fees.” It does not, however, alertrnanyone to many of the actual activitiesrnfunded by these thousands of dollars.rnIf a student wished to see a breakdownrnof the individual allocable funds, he orrnshe would have to contact the office ofrnthe student government. This officernwould then provide information that explainsrnthat student groups receive fundingrnfrom two different allocable funds,rndistributed either by a committee of thernstudent government or directly from therngovernment itself, and that studentrngroups could also receive funding via arnstudent referendum. Each fundingrnmechanism, of course, had its own applicationrnprocedures and rules, etc., etc.rnAdditionally, the Chancellor and Boardrnof Regents would have to stamp their approvalrnon all funding, and student groupsrnreceiving funds could only operate underrncertain guidelines. Needless to say, thernsystem brilliantly confused or frustratedrnmost detractors from proceeding pastrnthe inquiry stage. Since the administrationrnabounds with leftists who agreernwholeheartedly with the radical agendarnof the student government, no whistleblowingrnhad occurred to stop thernpractice.rnTo explain all of this to my attorney, Irnprepared what I affectionately term thern”initial binder.” After studying this forrnsome time, he agreed that the university’srnpolicy was an unconstitutional burdenrnon students studying at the UW,rnbut felt that we should offer the Board ofrnRegents a way out without a lawsuit. Hernthen wrote a courteous letter to the presidentrnof the board in November 1995,rnexplaining the law and the policy. Wernnever received a reply.rnBy early 1996, it became clear that arnlawsuit was imminent. Amy Shoepke, arnfirst-year law student and former UWrnundergraduate, joined in the process ofrndeveloping the lawsuit, as did Keith Bannach.rnWith our attorney, we embarkedrnon evidence gathering. We collectedrn44/CHRONICLESrnrnrn