Announcing the Second Annual National Academic Freedom Conference · 16 January 2007

By Sara Dogan

Dear Students and Supporters,

Welcome back to campus for the spring semester! We are pleased to welcome you back with the announcement of our second annual academic freedom conference which will be taking place March 3-4 at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, DC.

The conference will feature many exciting speakers and events including a debate between SAF Chairman David Horowitz and American Association of University Professors President Cary Nelson on what is probably the most important campus issue of the day – students’ academic freedom.

The conference will also feature student and Marine corporal Matthew Sanchez who took on the issue of anti-military bias at Columbia University after he was harassed and called a “baby killer” by his fellow students for proudly serving in the Corps. 

In an effort to make it possible for more students from across the nation to attend our event, we are holding this year’s conference directly following the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) which takes place each winter in Washington, DC.  Conference registration is FREE FOR STUDENTS but space is limited so please register as soon as you know you will be able to attend.

At our First National Academic Freedom Conference last year, students, educators, legislators, and non-profit leaders came together to examine the growing crisis of politicization occurring in America's K-12 schools and universities. In the months since that first historic conference, Students for Academic Freedom has achieved several substantial victories. A select committee of the Pennsylvania State Legislature found after a year-long process of hearings that not a single campus in the state provides student-specific academic freedom rights and grievance procedures. Even before the report was officially released, two major state campuses, Pennsylvania State University and Temple University, took measures to remedy this deficiency by adopting new policies which for the first time will give their students an official claim to academic freedom and will provide grievance machinery if their rights are violated.

This academic freedom policy at Penn State now applies specifically to students:

Penn State Policy HR 64: It is not the function of a faculty member in a democracy to indoctrinate his/her students with ready-made conclusions on controversial subjects. The faculty member is expected to train students to think for themselves, and to provide them access to those materials which they need if they are to think intelligently. Hence in giving instruction upon controversial matters the faculty member is expected to be of a fair and judicial mind, and to set forth justly, without supersession or innuendo, the divergent opinions of other investigators.

Despite these tremendous victories for our cause, grave abuses of academic freedom continue to abound on college campuses. Discussing why these abuses continue to take place and how they can be combated will be the key theme of this year’s conference.

 

Conference Details:

 

Following the conclusion of CPAC on Saturday afternoon, March 3rd, the first event of the conference will be an evening dinner reception featuring Students for Academic Freedom chairman David Horowitz and an exciting guest speaker still to-be-announced.

The following morning, Sunday, March 4th, we will be holding two morning panels and a lunchtime debate. The first panel will feature students from universities across the nation who will detail their experiences with “Faculty and Administration Harassment of Students.”

 The second panel, titled “Classroom Indoctrination: What Can We Do?” will be devoted to discussing tactics for addressing the campus indoctrination crisis.

 

The final event of the day will be a lunchtime debate on the topic “Political Indoctrination and Harassment on Campus: Is There a Problem?” between Students for Academic Freedom Chairman, David Horowitz and American Association of University Professors President Cary Nelson.

The complete conference schedule and registration information can be found at:

http://studentsforacademicfreedom.org/conference2007

Please keep in mind that times and speakers are subject to change.

Both breakfast and lunch will be provided on Sunday. The conference is scheduled to conclude at 1:30pm, so please keep the schedule in mind when arranging for your plane reservations on Sunday. Special discounted room rates at the Omni Shoreham Hotel are available on Saturday night for guests attending the academic freedom conference.

We also invite the general public to attend this event at the subsidized rate of $150.00. The conference fee includes all programs and meals, but does not include hotel accommodations.

We hope to see you at the conference!

How to Get Involved

If you’re not already active in Students for Academic Freedom, the new semester is the perfect time to start up a chapter of SAF on your campus. Deliver the message to your campus administration that abuse of students for their political, intellectual, or religious beliefs is unacceptable.

For more information on how you can get involved and start up a chapter on your campus or if you wish to report an abuse of your academic freedom, please contact me at Sara@studentsforacademicfreedom.org or at 888-527-3321. You can also find more information on our website at www.studentsforacademicfreedom.org.

Yours in Freedom,

Sara Dogan
National Campus Director
Students for Academic Freedom