According to Mainer, the University of Maine College Republicans has lost its status as an active student group — and thus also lost its eligibility to receive university resources — after professor Amy Fried abruptly ended her role as its faculty advisor, with no clear successor. This came in response to UMCR’s invitation to the authoritarian agitator Michelle Malkin to speak on-campus, as well as to the group’s ongoing use of social media to embrace a white-nationalist, anti-immigrant stance.

As one who wrote a public demand two months ago that UMCR have its platform withdrawn, I applaud Fried’s decision. I had aimed my appeal at the university’s leadership, but I find myself much more satisfied with this outcome than I would have had UMaine declared UMCR unwelcome by fiat. Instead, the group’s mandatory adult supervisor exercised her right to end her voluntary connection with with it, and in so doing cut the university’s official ties with it as well.

I do not imagine that this decision brought Fried any joy; it must have felt like a professional failure, to some degree. I have to assume that her action came at the end of an unsuccessful string of attempts to advise UMCR away from complete contempt for pluralistic democracy. But the group clearly chose to let president Trump — with his coterie of always-online, conspiracy-minded boosters — to act as UMCR’s one true advisor. I imagine that her decision to finally cut them loose must have hurt, a very small-scale echo of the way that impeaching a president hurts. In both cases, a sign that something has gone terribly wrong, and that a political body — be it a small state university or a super-powered nation — must injure itself in an attempt to right things.

I suppose, then, that I don’t applaud Fried’s decision so much as I approve of it, with a grim nod.

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