an educational purpose directly relatednto gender discrimination and culturalndiversity.” Sigma Chi and Gamma PhinBeta were ordered to “plan and implementnan educational program addressingncultural differences, diversity, andnthe concerns of women.” In a surprisinglynexplicit phrase, Bumgarner revealednthat “The exceptions to the bannon fraternity events reflect a premisenthat these events will create a desirablenattitude among the participants andnwill, in effect, be building a futurencadre of students to assist in promotingnpositive attitudes towards these issues.”nFinally, Bumgarner warned thenpunished Greeks not to defend themselves.n”The membership is cautionednto avoid any response or action thatncould be viewed as antagonistic orndetrimental to the offended parties,”nhe wrote.nUniversity student organizationsnhastily issued a plethora of resolutionsnand statements in support of the administration.nThe Broadside, GeorgenMason’s student newspaper, publishednan editorial praising Bumgarner’s decisionnas “carefully considered and reasonable.”nThe student governmentnsenate issued a statement condemningn”all events and activities that intentionallynor unintentionally ofiFend or hurtnany members of this university” —napparently unaware that they were denouncingnall controversial speech.nEven the Interfraternity Council, anbody of fraternity representatives, denouncednSigma Chi’s actions and imposednits own, less draconian sanctionsnon the fraternity.n*«•>nAlthough only one of the sororitiesnwas punished, all of the sorority membersnwho had participated in the eventnwere told that their actions were sexistn— even if they were not aware of it.nThey were ordered by Bumgarner tondevelop programs to “address issuesnrelated to . . . gender discriminationnand stereotyping.” The sorority women,nwrote The Broadside, “have chosenn52/CHRONICLESnto acquiesce in the tradition of sexismnso ingrained in our society (includingnthe Creek system).” Said the directornof the Women’s Research and ResourcenCenter, Karen Rosenblum:n”The sororities, whether consciouslynor not, had recreated and participatednin sexism.”nSadly, a campus that had been relativelynfree of racial tension became anveritable tinderbox. “Before this incidentnI never judged a person by thencolor of his skin, but now it does gonthrough my mind,” said one bitternsorority member, who added that manynof her friends feel the same way. Insteadnof promoting harmony amongnMason students, the politics of “multiculturalism”nhave created division andnstrife. Yet since the disciplining ofnSigma Chi the administration has onlyngone further with its “multiculturalist”ncrackdown.nWhen students applied to performnan act in which they would imitate thenblack singer Aretha Franklin (withoutnblackface) during a “lip-sync” contestnat the university’s annual Mason Dayncelebration, they were denied permissionnby a university official. “He toldnme that the act would be considerednracist and sexist because six white mennwere performing it,” said John Kirchhoffer,none of the applicants. Anotherngroup that applied simply to dress asnwomen while dancing to the ZZ Topnsong “Legs” was forbidden to do so,nand finally had to perform in towels.n(Only a day after the canceled MasonnDay events, the university’s celebratednCenter for the Arts presented a ballet,n”Trochadero de Monte Carlo,” innwhich men dressed as women andnparodied ballet classics. The universityncharged up to twenty dollars per seat.)nApparently the university police arennow being used to apprehend thoughtcriminals.nIn its latest posted letter as ofnthis writing (June), the university complainednof “Racist, Homophobic, andnDerogatory Flyers” posted in bathrooms,nand requested that informersnwho “have any information about whonmay have distributed these flyers,nplease contact the nearest campus policenofficer.”‘nThe rise of “multiculturalism” atnGeorge Mason University was a sur^nprise to many who viewed the universitynas a safe haven for conservatives. Anrapidly growing Virginia university lo­nnncated close to Washington, D.G., Masonnhas made a name for itself bynattracting prominent conservative intellectualsnto its faculty. Few outwardnsigns of the.coming changes precedednthe administration’s new policy,nthough there were some: two yearsnearlier, the university had established anformal “cultural diversity” program,nwhich included sparsely attended seminarsnteaching, among other things, thenevils of “abelism” (prejudice againstnthe disabled) and “heterosexism.” Thenuniversity’s guide for interviewing applicantsnfor Residence Advisor positionsnhas generated controversy in recentnmonths with its “Tips onnInterviewing Black Candidates.” Innthe realm of expression, however, thenuniversity had remained quiescent.nMany students cynically attributednthe policy changes to the university’sndesire to appease Virginia GovernornDouglas Wilder, who has sought tonreform the state campuses according tonhis own liberal formula. In the 1990-n92 budget, George Mason sufferednsignificant losses. Classes had beenncanceled, tuition rates had increased,nand even some parking lot lighting hadnbeen disconnected. One student senatornwho had voted to support thenadministration admitted to me that hisnmotivation had been to attract morenstate funding to the university. Henclaimed other senators had voted fornthe same reason. Indeed, Wilder congratulatednthe university for its responsento “Dress a Sig” during hisncommencement address to graduatingnMason students. “Mockery, exclusion,nor intimidation of any kind are antitheticalnto intellectual enlightenment,” hensaid.nGeorge Mason University, however,nhas yet to hear the last of the “Dress anSig” controversy. As I write, SigmanChi is preparing to file a lawsuit againstnthe university on First, Amendmentngrounds. In the end it may be GeorgenMason himself, through the Bill ofnRights he drafted over two hundrednyears ago, who protects the liberty ofnstudents from the university that bearsnhis name. One may wonder if henwould have found humor in this irony.nMatthew Hoffman, a junior atnGeorge Mason, has written for thenBaltimore Sun, the Orange CountynRegister, and the Washington Times.n