Opinion Graphic

OP-ED: Vice chancellor tweets Republicans are neo-Nazis and party of the KKK

Luke Stancil, Guest Columnist

North Carolina State University’s motto is “Think and Do.” Well, I've thought about it, and I want to do something about the image that is being portrayed by the vice chancellor of our university.

While Vice Chancellor and Dean of Student Affairs Mike Mullen has used his university Twitter account to alienate students that have conservative viewpoints or support President Donald Trump, his Twitter account both claims and speaks for North Carolina State, but he also frequently injects his personal opinions, and in particular has called Trump’s supporters “rednecks” and says they have a “lack of ethical values.”

Here’s another thing he’s tweeted: “Sitting in the Renaissance lounge, working, listening to three redneck businessmen discussing democratic mobs and violence. Lots of coded language. #bloodboiling.” The lounge is near campus.

Last spring, he also called the GOP the party of the NRA, “neo-Nazis, the KKK, and all manner of all alt-right crazies.”

After he called the GOP rednecks in November 2018, it prompted an op-ed in the Technician campus newspaper calling for his resignation. “Clearly, Mullen has failed his role as an educational administrator and is not slated to carry out even his own department’s goals of creating an inclusive environment,” student Jacob Trubey wrote in November 2018.

At the time, Mullen promised to “do better” on Twitter. He hasn’t. His reckless rhetoric has continued. Earlier this month on Twitter, he stated that Trump is a “racist” and uses “hate language” — once again alienating conservative students and groups on campus who support the president.

I believe in the First Amendment; however, Mullen’s job is to lead and represent all students. It’s not appropriate behavior for him to preach for an inclusive environment and also to effectively call students who are Republicans neo-Nazis and members of the klan.

I have been taught to listen, consider and respect other people's opinions, because everyone who disagrees with you is not always wrong and certainly deserves to be heard. In this case, I believe Vice Chancellor Mullen’s actions have damaged the image of our respected institution.

Over the past few years that I have been a student at NC State, Mullen has preached over and over about the importance of respect and inclusion.

For example, Wolfpack Welcome Week is coming up later this month. The Respect The Pack initiative, an annual welcome week event, brings students, faculty, staff and administrators together to paint messages of inclusion on what’s called the “Free Expression Tunnel.” Our university is an incubator for thought, discussion and debate, but it should be applied equally.

So what is a message of inclusion to Mullen? Because he touts this event every year — and then posts on the World Wide Web calling roughly 30% of the student population a bunch of racists who lack ethical values. Mullen does not practice what he preaches.

Our administration is doing wonderful things and we have the best chancellor in the country in Randy Woodson. Under Chancellor Woodson, North Carolina State has launched a campaign to raise $1.6 billion for scholarships, research, programs and facilities, propelling the university to even greater heights.

However, one bad apple can spoil the barrel, and I’m concerned about this bad apple. I ask Vice Chancellor Mullen to do the same thing he’s asked of the campus community — “Think and Do” and also “Respect the Pack.”

In the spirit of the Pack.

Luke Stancil is a fourth-year studying Agricultural Business Management.