YWC Adviser Steps Down

Andrew Harrell, Daily Tar Heel (University of North Carolina), June 17, 2009

The fate of UNC’s chapter of Youth for Western Civilization is up in the air.

Chris Clemens, the astronomy professor who serves as the group’s faculty adviser, said he’s decided not to continue in the role next year.

Once Clemens is officially gone, YWC will have 30 days to find a new faculty adviser before they are no longer an official campus organization.

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Instead, Clemens has offered to either sponsor a new group with the same mission but no affiliation with YWC, or help find a new sponsor.

But the second option could be difficult.

“I do not know who I would start with,” Clemens said. “I only know one other conservative faculty member.”

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Clemens stressed he is not passing judgment on the national organization itself but the reputation it has gained in the community.

“It’s a magnet for the radical left to come shut you down,” he said. “The name has become an obstacle to constructive dialogue.”

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Riley Matheson, former president and founder of UNC’s chapter, and YWC founder Kevin DeAnna said they have seen interest in the group rise because of the protests.

“Every time there is one of the usual left-wing hit pieces, mostly with stuff just made up, we get more members and donations,” DeAnna said.

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Matheson said his chapter of YWC had eight to 10 members. DeAnna said 10 is the average number of members for the seven or so chapters across the nation.

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The arrested protestors and their supporters have called for the YWC group on campus to be dissolved.

Jon Curtis, associate director for student activities and student organizations, said it would be illegal to dissolve a group unless it violates University policy or loses its adviser.

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