Rep Nass Threatens More UW Cuts

Whitewater Republican Steve Nass upset by gay sexuality discussion in UW sociology class.

By - Jul 11th, 2016 10:02 am
Steve Nass

Steve Nass

State Sen. Steve Nass, a Republican from Whitewater, isn’t too thrilled with the curriculum in a certain Sociology class at the University of Wisconsin.

The homework assignment, assigned by UW Sociology lecturer Jason Nolen, asks students to read “an essay on gay men’s sexual desires,” according to Channel 3000. The vague description likely alludes to a class that Nolen is teaching on sexuality, a broad topic that isn’t too uncommon on college campuses across the nation.

But the specific nature of the assignment — homosexual desires — has Sen. Nass all in a tizzy. It’s got him so frustrated that he’s doing what other Wisconsin Republicans have done over the past couple of weeks: he’s threatening funding cuts to the UW.

[Nass has] challenged [UW] leaders to give him their thoughts on the essay, cautioning them that their responses will play a role in evaluating the system’s 2017-2019 budget request.

(Emphasis added)

To which I respond with a deserving facepalm.



Nass is attacking a well-respected member of the UW Sociology department. Jason Nolen has received high commendations for his work, and is consistently given great marks from students themselves on ratemyprofessors.com (currently a 4.6 out of 5.0 average).

But Nass’s reprehensible actions go beyond attacking a respected faculty member. It’s also childish to threaten spending cuts on the basis of a singular topic at any given university. Should every UW faculty member be subjected to the same type of scrutiny that Nass is proposing here? It’d be impractical, and foolish.

More likely than not, Nass has a problem with the subject matter involving homosexuality. But human sexuality comes in many forms, including homosexual, and Nass can’t do anything about that, no matter what his tastes may be — and nor should he be able to. The preferences of Wisconsin legislators should play no role in the curriculum of UW classes, plain and simple.

This isn’t Nass’s first foray into the business of the UW. Earlier this year, Nass was critical (to put it mildly) of attempts to correct racial disparities on campus. From the Cap Times in January:

President Cross needs to stop wasting time appeasing the political correctness crowd demanding safe-spaces, safe-words, universal apologies for hurt feelings, and speech/thought police,” Nass said in a statement.

Perhaps it’s Nass who needs a reality check. Racism needs to be addressed on our campuses, and human sexuality deserves to be studied in sociology classes. Nass has no business trying to interfere with the university’s proven track record of success, and he should be removed from the higher educational committee he currently sits on.

This column originally ran at Political-Heat.blogspot.com

Categories: Education, Op-Ed, Politics

11 thoughts on “Op-Ed: Rep Nass Threatens More UW Cuts”

  1. Milwaukee Native says:

    Wow, right-wing legislators just keep threatening to “punish” our educational systems by withholding funding if administrators, teachers and other don’t “behave” as these pols demand. Last week it was Fitzgerald threatening MPS and now this.

    They must think they’re living in a “Father Knows Best” era where old white guys get to tell everyone else what to do–and even what to think and talk about. I suppose these old guys also missed out on warnings sounded even back when they were young, such as “The Times They Are A-Changin'”.

    Sen. Nass, are you aware of freedom of speech, including academic freedom? Watch out–people like you are probably being studied in sociology and anthropology classes too!

  2. Jason says:

    I just hope all these students being educated about gay orgasms. Get their moneys worth. How many sociologists does a society employ. When are country needs more plumbers, electrician, welders and tech coders. When will UW system adapt to societies true employment needs.

  3. Vincent Hanna says:

    Yes everyone should go to UW for a degree in either plumbing or welding. Anything else is a useless waste and those people will contribute nothing to society. We need more people with closed minds like Jason.

  4. Jason says:

    Vince, a lot of college students have one chance to get it right, Wisconsinites are a massing $50,000 student loans for Philosophy and Criminal Justice degrees and realizing that there is no need for there skill set. Kudos to you Vince if you are happy with your career path but many of our kids are being told they can make a lot of money being a sociologist and then spend the rest of their lives working two part time jobs and paying $500 dollars a month to Fed student loans or just giving up.

  5. Vincent Hanna says:

    Jason you act like UW has nothing but sociology majors. That is just not true. Not even close.

    Is a criminal justice degree really useless? Who is telling all these students that they can get rich with a sociology degree? Where are you getting all of this information? It sounds made up, or like something someone heard Charlie Sykes say, and they believed him.

  6. Vincent Hanna says:

    Also, the way you belittle a discussion about gay sexuality is extremely distasteful, to say the least. Why are you so dismissive of college students in a sociology class discussing gay sexuality? Do you think it’s a subversive effort to convert them into homosexuals? Open up that mind Jason.

  7. Margaret says:

    Jason repeats a widespread but false belief that anyone who majors in useless things like philosophy condemn themselves to a life of unemployment and poverty. In fact, philosophy majors do very well in the job market and mid career philosophy majors on average make more than accountants.

  8. daniel golden says:

    Rep Nass doth protest too much. If he is so obsesses with gays and alternative lifestyles, it leads to two interesting questions. 1. What is he hiding in his private life? 2. The two most reliably Conservative votes on the Wisconsin Supreme Court come from individuals whose own personal lives would best be described as alternative lifestyles not in keeping with Nass’s standards. Why look all the way to the UW Campus for material that is offensive when Nass can look in the Wisconsin Supreme Court for individuals whose personal lives are clearly not heterosexual. Is it because these individuals are reliable right wing votes for the Republicans on every politically charged case that comes before the Court? Just wondering.

  9. John says:

    Has anyone, including this dunderhead in the legislature, taken the time to examine the larger context in which this assignment was given, or read the course prospectus? I kind of doubt it.

  10. Dave says:

    A fascist is one whose lust for money or power is combined with such an intensity of intolerance toward those of other races, parties, classes, religions, cultures, regions or nations as to make him ruthless in his use of deceit or violence to attain his ends. The American fascists are most easily recognized by their deliberate perversion of truth and fact. Their newspapers and propaganda carefully cultivate every fissure of disunity, every crack in the common front against fascism. Their final objective toward which all their deceit is directed is to capture political power so that, using the power of the state and the power of the market simultaneously, they may keep the common man in eternal subjugation. — Henry A. Wallace

  11. Mark E. Bye says:

    This asshole. Again.

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