Students at UT have learned a powerful political lesson: Supporting Obama will get you in trouble with The Man.
We're sure UT officials would say supporting McCain would get you in trouble, too, but apparently sure-as-shootin' mavericks are not as prevalent on the 40 Acres as Obama fans.
Two UT students have been disciplined for refusing to remove Obama signs from their dorm windows. They've been barred from registering for spring classes and face even further disciplinary action.
"This is quite possibly the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard," says Zack Hall, president of the University Democrats, who apparently has never heard Sarah Palin talk about her foreign-policy experience. "You mean to tell me that students have been found with guns in the dorms, they have drugs in the dorms, they have alcohol in the dorms, and UT is punishing students for putting up signs expressing their political views and being good citizens?"
Hall tells Hair Balls that UT authorities are hearing from alumni. "Last night we had former Dallas mayor Ron Kirk at our meeting, and he's about to be the president of the Texas Exes, and he said he'd send a message on our behalf," Hall said.
Our reporter on the scene says UT has suddenly decided to enforce and "aesthetic" rule banning political signs on dorm doors and windows.
We guess all those Bush `04 signs were much more aesthetically pleasing.
Update: Hall just called, at 1 p.m., to say UT's general counsel left him a voice mail saying the university's backing down. The "aesthetic" rule is suspended, disciplinary action against the two students has been tossed out, and a committee of students, staff and faculty will review whether the rule should be reinstated.
"He said the school had such an outpouring of reaction that they had to do this," Hall says.
-- Richard Connelly