So some of the students and faculty at UC Irvine don't want a Carl's Jr. restaurant on campus because the founder of the company, Carl Karcher, is a pro-American, anti-abortion conservative Republican ("Beef with Karcher," Feb. 26).
Is this the same student body and faculty that believes in free speech? (Except when they oppose what is being said.) Is this the same student body and faculty that doesn't believe in censorship? (Unless they get to be the censor.) Is this the same student body and faculty that believes a university should be a place where legitimate points of view can receive a fair hearing? (Unless too many people disagree with those views.)
OK, so we keep businesses off campus if the owner happens to disagree with us politically. What's next? Well, let's make sure we don't let too many conservative professors hold teaching posts. God forbid they might teach our students that democracy is good and communism is bad. And since we're concerned about this, we better make sure that we don't let too many conservative students in, either. Let's make sure Johnny 12th-grader's application essay doesn't say too many good things about America.
Karcher holds legitimate (and correct) opinions on a large number of issues. But why should that be a test to decide who sells hamburgers on our university campuses?
U.S. Rep. ROBERT E. BADHAM