The Ashland Times-Gazette had an interesting front page yesterday. On the far right, there was a story headlined “Sudden settlement ends 2-plus year lawsuit.” The story is, essentially, a recap of what’s happened since the suit was filed in Lorain County Courts back in October 2016.
Immediately to the left of that story was one headlined ‘A place of values.’ This piece covers the State of the University address that Ashland University President Carlos Campo delivered at the Brethren Care Wellness and Community Center on Monday.
In his address, Campo, according to the Times-Gazette, said this:
“I want our students to be able to encounter folks with whom they don’t agree, and even encounter people who they might be offended by.”
This is a direct quote from the seventh-paragraph of the story.
What a wonderful thing for a university president to say! Of course, it would be great if Campo lived by those words.
For the last two weeks, this website has been battling a Facebook ban because someone, or a group of someones, reported Eye On Ashland to the social media giant as being abusive and spam. Those who made the reports did so sometime between March 2, when “The Brethren Church’s stand against the LGBTQ community, and it’s impact on Ashland,” and April 10, when I realized the site was blocked.
I was never told who reported the site to Facebook, but it’s hard to imagine it was anyone other than Campo and other high-level administrators at AU. Who else would care what my small website – one dedicated to producing watchdog journalism focused on the Campo administration was doing at AU – was trying to deliver to university alums via social media?
Fortunately, this was resolved sometime last night or early this morning. (It should be noted, that our page views have gone through the roof since I realized the site was blocked on Facebook, from averaging just eight page views a day in February to 19 in March to 238 per day from April 10 onward.)
But here’s the deal: This wasn’t the first time Campo blocked me. On March 23, 2017, he blocked me on Twitter so I couldn’t see or respond to his tweets. He did this because I responded to his tweet that contained a 17-second video of him asking university alumni to make a donation to AU on its annual day of giving.
That’s the tweet that made Campo block me. He didn’t even want to try and engage with an alum who he disagreed with.
All of this makes me think back to Campo’s first All-Institution meeting at AU. This occurred just after the Fall 2015 semester started. While I don’t remember the exact date, I do know that it happened after 14 tenured faculty members had been told their jobs were being terminated.
At one point during this meeting, Dr. Daniel Lehman of the English Department asked Campo what the university was going to do to prepare for a lawsuit from those faculty who had been terminated.
Lehman has since retired from AU, but I’m pretty sure every single person who has ever had him in class or worked with him (I’m lucky. I’ve done both) considers him to be one of the most kind, compassionate, and smart individuals who has ever taught at AU.
Campo, though, erupted after being asked the question. He started speaking incredibly harshly to Lehman, acting as though the Trustees Professor had no idea what he was talking about.
Of course, a bit more than a year later, a lawsuit was filed, and, well, you know the rest.