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April 2005

The Commander’s Thoughts

     The situation with the national problem is not over but, for now it is being pushed aside. During this time we need to forget our anger and continue to preserve our Southern history and heritage. Much of my work as your commander is done with Divisional 2nd. Lieutenant Commander Manning so even I have to do this.

     On March 20th Randy and I went to the Gulf Coast Brigade meeting in Anderson, Texas. There was not much of a show with it being a Sunday and Palm Sunday on top of that. Still, there were many things discussed and Divisional 2nd. Lieutenant Commander gave a great program on camp recruiting and retention. Randy and I learned a lot.

     A list of men wishing to run for brigade offices was formed. The below list shows who is running for what office.

Brigade Commander ---------------- Commander Steve Forman, presently Brigade 1st. Lieutenant Commander.

Brigade Commander --------------------------- Commander Bill Campbell of the Galveston Camp.

Brigade 1st. Lieutenant Commander -------- Commander James Hale of the Woodville Camp

Brigade 2nd Lieutenant Commander -------- Commander Vernon Gillen of the Swamp Angels’ Camp.

     I was going to run for 2nd Lieutenant Commander of our brigade last year but decided not to. Now I am going to do it. I hope to get your support for this office. I would still remain as the camp’s Commander but, would just have two jobs. I feel confident that I can do this job as almost all of it is done on the computer.

     I need to stress to you all how important it is that you try your best to make the April meeting. Only at the April and May meetings will you be able to tell your delegates, Randy and myself, how you want us to vote at the state convention in June.

     That brings me to another point. I had called for the May meeting to be for the Camp Constitution Amendments that I am proposing and then a short officer’s meeting. Because the May meeting will be your last chance to let your delegates know how you want us to vote, I will be bringing that up first at the May meeting. Only after that will I bring up the amendments.

     Keeping with our camp constitution, Article 14, I must send by postal mail to all members of the Swamp Angels’ camp, a letter showing the parts of the constitution I wish to change, the change, and then what that part of the constitution will look like after the change if it passes. I will mail them out so that you will receive them at least within 15 days of the May meeting. Go over this as it is your constitution which governs your camp. Depending on how much discussion there is on the proposed amendments, that part of the meeting should not take long and the Officer’s meeting can start. All members except the officers may leave before the officers meeting or you may stay and listen.

     Keep in mind that Swamp Angels’ Day is coming up on April 30th, a Saturday. The day will start off with a cemetery ceremony at Ryan’s Cemetery, 14 miles north of Dayton on Hwy 321, where we will honor all of the Swamp Angels in the War of Northern Arrogance through my ancestor, Private Jessie Burton Gillen. He was a Swamp Angel of Company A. After the ceremony is over we will proceed to some local place to eat. I plan to present two awards if IHQ has sent them yet.

     At our last meeting we voted to not enter the scrapbook competition at the state convention because we did not enough pictures. We can only take pictures of us doing things if we do things. Because of this I have started setting up some cemetery ceremonies as I mentioned above. This is not the only thing that I am planning but I will need your help.

     Because of a lack of attendance at our camp meetings and other things we will only be able to enter one out of four competitions this year. This would be the web site competition. I’ve worked hard at this and I think I have built a winner. But we will see. I understand that most of you work long hours and some of you are holding two jobs but, try to do what ever you can for your camp. I have a lot of things planned for this year so give e a call or e-mail me and find out what is going on.

Commander Vernon Gillen

The Adjutant’s Minutes

     Chaplain Charping opened the meeting in prayer and Commander Gillen led in the pledges. After the committee reports the business began.

     Because of there being a lack of pictures a vote was taken to not enter the scrapbook competition at the state convention in June. We agreed that it was better to drop out than to send in only a few pages of pictures.

     For a short presentation the Commander passed around a mini ball that was found on the battlefield of 1st & 2nd Manassas. It is only a start to his Confederate Collection.

     The Commander gave a financial report on the Lee/Jackson Banquet. Only two men from our camp came to it.

     The idea of having a fund raiser to raise money to help send a man to the National Convention was discussed for a few seconds before being tabled until the next meetings.

     A call for delegates to the State Convention in June was discussed. Commander Gillen was elected as one delegate leaving a second position open to anyone wishing to volunteer.

     Special Convention forms were passed out by the Commander calling for a Special Convention to be held before the regular convention in July. This Special Convention was called to help take care of some important business before July.

     The Commander gave a few announcements and then Chaplain Charping dismissed the meeting in prayer.

Adjutant Samuel Shurtleff


The Front Line

College Faculties A Most Liberal Lot, Study Finds

By Howard Kurtz

Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, March 29, 2005; Page C01


     College faculties, long assumed to be a liberal bastion, lean further to the left than even the most conspiratorial conservatives might have imagined, a new study says.

     By their own description, 72 percent of those teaching at American universities and colleges are liberal and 15 percent are conservative, says the study being published this week. The imbalance is almost as striking in partisan terms, with 50 percent of the faculty members surveyed identifying themselves as Democrats and 11 percent as Republicans.

     The disparity is even more pronounced at the most elite schools, where, according to the study, 87 percent of faculty are liberal and 13 percent are conservative.

     "What's most striking is how few conservatives there are in any field," said Robert Lichter, a professor at George Mason University and a co-author of the study. "There was no field we studied in which there were more conservatives than liberals or more Republicans than Democrats. It's a very homogenous environment, not just in the places you'd expect to be dominated by liberals."

     Religious services take a back seat for many faculty members, with 51 percent saying they rarely or never attend church or synagogue and 31 percent calling themselves regular churchgoers. On the gender front, 72 percent of the full-time faculty are male and 28 percent female.

     The findings, by Lichter and fellow political science professors Stanley Rothman of Smith College and Neil Nevitte of the University of Toronto, are based on a survey of 1,643 full-time faculty at 183 four-year schools. The researchers relied on 1999 data from the North American Academic Study Survey, the most recent comprehensive data available.

     The study appears in the March issue of the Forum, an online political science journal. It was funded by the Randolph Foundation, a right-leaning group that has given grants to such conservative organizations as the Independent Women's Forum and Americans for Tax Reform.

     Rothman sees the findings as evidence of "possible discrimination" against conservatives in hiring and promotion. Even after factoring in levels of achievement, as measured by published work and organization memberships, "the most likely conclusion" is that "being conservative counts against you," he said. "It doesn't surprise me, because I've observed it happening." The study, however, describes this finding as "preliminary."

     When asked about the findings, Jonathan Knight, director of academic freedom and tenure for the American Association of University Professors, said, "The question is how this translates into what happens within the academic community on such issues as curriculum, admission of students, evaluation of students, evaluation of faculty for salary and promotion." Knight said he isn't aware of "any good evidence" that personal views are having an impact on campus policies.

     "It's hard to see that these liberal views cut very deeply into the education of students. In fact, a number of studies show the core values that students bring into the university are not very much altered by being in college."

     Rothman, Lichter and Nevitte find a leftward shift on campus over the past two decades. In the last major survey of college faculty, by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching in 1984, 39 percent identified themselves as liberal.

     In contrast with the finding that nearly three-quarters of college faculty are liberal, a Harris Poll of the general public last year found that 33 percent describe themselves as conservative and 18 percent as liberal.

     The liberal label that a majority of the faculty members attached to themselves is reflected on a variety of issues. The professors and instructors surveyed are, strongly or somewhat, in favor of abortion rights (84 percent); believe homosexuality is acceptable (67 percent); and want more environmental protection "even if it raises prices or costs jobs" (88 percent). What's more, the study found, 65 percent want the government to ensure full employment, a stance to the left of the Democratic Party.

     Recent campus controversies have reinforced the left-wing faculty image. The University of Colorado is reviewing its tenure system after one professor, Ward Churchill, created an uproar by likening World Trade Center victims to Nazis. Harvard's faculty of arts and sciences voted no confidence in the university's president, Lawrence Summers, after he privately wondered whether women had the same natural ability as men in science and math.

     The study did not attempt to examine whether the political views of faculty members affect the content of their courses.

     The researchers say that liberals, men and non-regular churchgoers are more likely to be teaching at top schools, while conservatives, women and more religious faculty are more likely to be relegated to lower-tier colleges and universities.

     Top-tier schools, roughly a third of the total, are defined as highly ranked liberal arts colleges and research universities that grant PhDs.

     The most liberal faculties are those devoted to the humanities (81 percent) and social sciences (75 percent), according to the study. But liberals outnumbered conservatives even among engineering faculty (51 percent to 19 percent) and business faculty (49 percent to 39 percent).

     The most left-leaning departments are English literature, philosophy, political science and religious studies, where at least 80 percent of the faculty say they are liberal and no more than 5 percent call themselves conservative, the study says.

     "In general," says Lichter, who also heads the nonprofit Center for Media and Public Affairs, "even broad-minded people gravitate toward other people like themselves. That's why you need diversity, not just of race and gender but also, maybe especially, of ideas and perspective."



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