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Academe’s Worst Offenders
Dartmouth College was, until reform trustees Peter Robinson, Todd Zywicki, and T.J. Rodgers and a cabal of neanderthal students insisted otherwise, a bad place for freedom of expression. In fact in its bleakest hours the speech code, promulgated by College president Jim Wright in a public epistle, was no more liberal than the Ayatollah’s: the only distinction was that, at Dartmouth, one’s utterances were circumscribed by the most-easily-offended denominator; in Arabia, a piece of old text. But the notion, alas, was the same: to offend is to lapse, grievously.
This is all by way of noting that FIRE has set about educating this year’s crop of fresh
menfolks about the worst free-speech offenders in academe:
Johns Hopkins University found student Justin Park guilty of “harassment” for posting an “offensive” Halloween party invitation on Facebook.com. Hopkins President William Brody made matters worse by then implementing “Principles for Ensuring Equity, Civility and Respect for All,” a new and chillingly broad “civility” code prohibiting “rude, disrespectful behavior” on campus. To lose its shameful distinction on FIRE’s Red Alert list, Hopkins must repeal its civility code.
Tufts University found the conservative newspaper The Primary Source (TPS) guilty of harassment for publishing two satirical and controversial articles: a satirical Christmas carol and a mock advertisement entitled “Islam—Arabic Translation: Submission.” The first article was a parody based on race-based admissions, and the second presented facts about Islam as a response to Tufts’ “Islamic Awareness Week.” The university’s Committee on Student Life determined that TPS was guilty of “harassment” even while claiming its students enjoyed full First Amendment rights. The harassment finding still stands. Tufts must admit that simply publishing facts about a religion is not “harassment” and reverse the contrary finding against TPS.
Valdosta State University President Ronald Zaccari expelled student Hayden Barnes for posting a flyer on Facebook.com criticizing the school’s proposed parking garages. While this case is currently in federal court and out of the hands of Valdosta’s current leadership, Valdosta must repeal its current free speech zone, a ridiculously unconstitutional policy restricting speech to a twelve-foot stage for two non-consecutive hours per day.
Brandeis University found Professor Donald Hindley guilty of racially discriminatory harassment for critiquing the term “wetbacks” in a classroom discussion. Even though Hindley was never allowed to see the evidence against him, the administration punished him by posting a monitor in his classroom. Brandeis must reverse the decision finding Hindley guilty of making “inappropriate, racial, and discriminatory” remarks.
Colorado College found two male students guilty of “violence” after a three-hour trial for juxtaposing “weaponry and sexuality” in a flyer satirizing another flyer posted by the Feminist and Gender Studies Program. Disciplinary letters have been placed in the students’ files. Colorado College must remove these letters from the students’ files to get off the Red Alert list.
October 18, 2009
When Love Beckoned in 52nd Street
We were at San Francisco’s BIX last evening, enjoying prosecco, cheese, and a bit of music. A full year of inhabitation in Northern California has unraveled to me no decent venue for proper lounging, but…
October 9, 2009
D Afraid of a Little Competish
So our colleague and Dartblog writer Joe Asch informed me that the D has rejected our cunning advertising campaign. Uh-oh. The Dartmouth is widely known as a breeding ground for instant New York Times successes,…
September 4, 2009
How Regents Should Reign
As Dartmouth alumni proceed through the legal hoops necessary to defuse a Board-packing plan—which put in unhappy desuetude an historic 1891 Agreement between alumni and the College guaranteeing a half-democratically-elected Board of Trustees—it strikes one…
August 29, 2009
Election Reform Study Committee
If you are an alum of the College on the Hill, you may have received a number of e-mails of late beseeching your input for a new arm of the College’s Alumni Control Apparatus called…
August 23, 2009
Fare Thee Well, Tom Crady
And now Dean Tom Crady has precipitously announced his departure from the College after only 20 months on the job. How to read this? By way of background, prior to coming to Dartmouth, Crady had…
May 31, 2009
Kangaroo Court, Indeed
In an interview with The Dartmouth, alumni-elected trustee T.J. Rodgers ‘70 explained his reasons for declining to participate in future evaluations of trustees up for “re-election,” namely the “kangaroo court” nature of such discussion in…