5:18pm ET update:
After publication, Big League Politics received word from the University of Southern Maine’s president, Glenn Cummings, saying that they had pulled the free credit offering:
“This pop-up course was hastily arranged in the past 24 hours, without the knowledge of the Provost or myself. It was not appropriately reviewed nor went through proper channels. As soon as the Provost and I were apprised of the course, we immediately pulled the one-credit offering. We also made sure that no USM monies were being used for the trip. University policy makes it absolutely clear that our public, taxpayer funded institutions must be non-partisan in terms of political activity and institutionally impartial in all political, religious and social matters that are unrelated to our universities’ core mission of education, research, and public service.”
The University of Southern Maine is giving one free credit hour to students who participate in a protest against Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine), according to emails obtained by Big League Politics.
“Students can earn 1 credit FREE for enrolling in this Pop-Up course on “Engaged Citizenship,” the email said. “The requirements of the pop-up include: busing overnight to Washington D.C. to join activists, political action groups and social justice organizations to meet Sen. Collins. Rally up around the FBI investigation of the Supreme Court nominee Kavanaugh.”
The email describes the trip’s agenda, which includes the students being “escorted to the capitol Thursday morning.”
“This Pop-Up Course is Tuition FREE for all matriculated USM undergrads,” according to the email. Tuition fees waved at completion of course.”
A Google doc attachment asks students what type of protest they are interested in – including whether they are willing to get arrested, and informs the students that “bail is about $50/arrest,” instructing them to “have a plan.”
This partisan protest against Collins comes at the expense of the Maine taxpayers, considering that USM is a public institution. Nowhere in the email is Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) mentioned. King is certain to vote against Kavanaugh’s confirmation, and the students apparently will not seek him out on Capitol Hill.
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