Maine College Republicans Applaud the Legislature’s Support of Academic Freedom · 13 March 2005

Filed under: Maine

March 10, 2005

Maine College Republicans Applaud the Legislature's Support of Academic Freedom

AUGUSTA - In response to the introduction of LD 1194, "An Act to Create an Academic Bill of Rights," into the Maine Legislature by Representative Steven Bowen (R-Camden), Maine College Republicans Chairman Dan Schuberth issued the following statement:

"I enthusiastically and wholeheartedly support Representative Bowen's efforts to guarantee the academic rights of Maine's college students through this critical bill. It is no secret that college campuses often provide a hostile atmosphere to students whose opinions do not reflect the dominant view of the administration, faculty, or student body. By pressuring students to conform to the ideological campus majority in their scholarly work; by offering biased and one-sided information in the classroom on the key issues of the day; and by using public funds to promote ideologically homogenous speakers and lecturers, our universities do not offer students a well-rounded education.

As college students, it should be our right to have universities accept and welcome differing opinions in the context of the subject matter we choose to study. We should also have the right, outside of the classroom, to the freedom of speech, freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and freedom of conscious, for individuals and student organizations, which is guaranteed under the First Amendment of our United States Constitution.

When Bowdoin College, one of Maine's most prestigious institutions, becomes the center of national controversy because their students chose to bring a conservative black speaker to campus, it should serve as a wake-up call to the Legislature that the rights of students to have intellectual freedom is being infringed upon. (Refer to: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,149573,00.html.)

I urge the Legislature to take the critical steps to protect academic freedom for all of Maine's college students by supporting this bill." Chairman Schuberth is available for interviews about the Academic Bill of Rights. He can be reached by cell phone at (207) 522-6382 and by e-mail at dschuber@bowdoin.edu

For more information about LD1194, please visit:

http://www.mainelegislature.org/legis/bills/billtexts/LD119401-1.asp

For more information about the Maine College Republicans, please visit their website at http://mainecr.org .

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Nathaniel Walton
Communications Director
Maine College Republicans
743 Bates College
Lewiston, ME 04240-6068
Email: nwalton@bates.edu
Telephone: (781) 248-0808