UNCW professor accused of crossing the line

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Sociology and Criminology Professor Mike Adams has folks talking again at UNCW.

A group of students feels that Adams has gone too far with remarks on his Facebook and blog. Students say that Adams’s remarks on women, the mentally ill and the LGBT community have made them very uncomfortable on campus.

In one blog post, Adams refers to student protestors at a recent abortion demonstration on campus as “animals” who need to be caged.

Students say this sort of environment is not one they wish to experience at school.

“We were really insulted by being called animals,” said Hannah Gilles, the Feminist Student Alliance Secretary. “Especially by a UNCW professor, because we figure he’s supposed to be held to a higher standard.”

University spokesman Janine Iamunno says several administrators in Student Affairs meant with a group of students Monday night to talk about rumors the school’s LGBT office may be closed. They also discussed their concerns about Adams’s comments.

“Our Student Affairs team also clarified the university policies regarding harassment to illustrate that while the comments made on a faculty member’s personal website may have been upsetting, they likely would not qualify as violating the university’s harassment policy and are typically considered protected speech under the US and NC constitutions,” Iamunno said. “They also shared resources for the students to utilize if they did feel their personal safety was at risk.”

But that may not be enough for some students.

“I want to know when does freedom of speech end and harassment begin?” asked Mikaela Flemming, a UNCW student. “For them, does that mean we have to wait until there is a direct threat?”

We spoke with Dr. Adams Tuesday. He said he didn’t know students were bothered by his posts, and wasn’t informed of a meeting last night.

Editor’s note: A video version of this story incorrectly applied a university spokeswoman’s statement to several comments posted by Dr. Adams, but the statement was directed only to specific comments that she was shown. We apologize for any confusion, and as a result have removed the video to prevent further confusion.

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