Speaker Brings Conservative Perspective to Higher Education · 03 April 2005

Speaker Brings Conservative Perspective to Higher Education

By Haroon Mohammad--Purdue Exponent--04/05/05

A streaker brought an abrupt end to a speech by David Horowitz Monday night about the academic bill of rights.

After attempting to interrupt Horowitz, the individual ran out of Fowler Hall. Purdue police arrived at the scene and assessed the situation. Police reported later that night that no arrests were made.

Prior to the commotion, Horowitz, author of the academic bill of rights, spoke about his legislation to empower students at university campuses regarding their academic rights. Horowitz said students come to a university to get an education, not a political view from their professors.

"A professor is an individual that should act like a counselor and give you advice and guidance, but not get in your face with their political views."

Horowitz said the bill of rights is his way of protesting what he contends is an unfair education system that supports left wing radicals while blacklisting conservatives. The bill of rights is a method to bring equality back to the education system in the nation's universities.

"American universities are less free today than they were in the McCarthy-era universities," he said. "It is an injustice."

In his lecture, Horowitz said professors are given a tremendous amount of authority in the classroom, especially with students' grades. Professors abuse their power by displaying anti-war and political posters in their offices and by speaking about their political points of view in class, he said.

Guha Dharmarajan, a graduate student, disagreed with Horowitz's perspective.

"I believe that good academic institutions by their very nature have to question the prevailing ideologies that are present within our society and political system. Universities in this country are not political enough," he said.

Dharmarajan also objected to Horowitz's perspective on the issue of professors not being able to express their political views in the classroom.

"To think we can apoliticize a university by a professor's viewpoints is completely ridiculous," he said.