Academic Freedom News · 27 February 2004

February 27, 2004

Victories

Welcome to the first issue of Academic Freedom News, the newest effort from Students for Academic Freedom to keep you informed of the latest exciting developments in the battle for academic freedom on college campuses, which we launched this past September.

Since launching this organization little more than half a year ago, over 120 SAF chapters have been formed across the country, an astonishing illustration of the need for a movement to combat the left/liberal bias that is epidemic across our nation's campuses. In this short period, SAF has already inspired legislation across the country.

The occasion of this inaugural edition comes at the same time as our first big victory: the passage of a bill for academic freedom through the Education Committee in the Colorado State Assembly.

Emphasizing the need for this movement, the committee meeting was highlighted by a philosophy professor from Metro State University in Denver physically confronting a student who had just finished testifying before the committee--in front of astonished state representatives.

If this blatant attempt at intimidation surprises you, read on, because we aren't making this stuff up.

Best regards,

Tom Elia

Editor

Students for Academic Freedom

Tom@StudentsforAcademicFreedom.org

Victory in Colorado

The House Education Committee of the Colorado General Assembly approved a measure Wednesday to protect students from discrimination on the basis of religious or political beliefs. The bill is a moderate, bi-partisan proposal designed to recognize the academic rights of students, and empower local governing boards to inform students of their rights and ensure that grievance mechanisms are in place to deal with abuses of academic freedom.

The committee hearings were marred by a confrontation between a student who backed the bill and a professor who was opposed to it.

According to the Associated Press, after Ian Van Buskirk, a junior at the University of Colorado at Boulder, testified for the bill's passage through committee, "Metro State philosophy professor Tim Gould walked up to him and said something as they stood nose-to-nose. Van Buskirk backed away, saying 'Do you want to put that into the record?'"

Professor Gould apologized to Van Buskirk after the hearing, explaining away his behavior as "street theater." Click here for article.

SAF Challenges University of California to Act After Daniel Pipes is Shouted Down Once Again by Muslim Radicals at Berkeley

Leave it to Berkeley to provide the latest campus outrage by the Left. Last Tuesday night, nationally renowned Muslim scholar Daniel Pipes attempted to speak at the University. Pipes is a renowned scholar of the Middle East and a recent presidential appointee to the U.S. Institute of Peace -- a nomination that was strenuously opposed by supporters of Islamic radicalism and their allies. His speech at Berkeley addressed the most important topics of our time: terrorism, the liberation of Iraq, Islamic fundamentalism and the Middle Eastern conflict. Clearly, the speech was an invaluable educational opportunity for Berkeley's students. Unfortunately, two student organizations with long records of campus thuggery and support for Islamic hate attempted to prevent other students from hearing what Pipes had to say. Read more.

Duke Conservative Union Criticizes University's President Over School's Liberal Bias

Duke Conservative Union takes out an ad in Duke's student newspaper enumerating the left-liberal bias of the university's professors. Click here to read.

Read SAF National Campus Director Sara Dogan's letter about the suppression of free speech at UC-Berkeley and academic bias at Duke.

St. Olaf Students Challenge Attempt to Use the University to Recruit Leftwing Activists

Organizers for the Nobel Peace Prize Forum held at St. Olaf College in Minnesota rejected a speaker who wanted to talk about peace through strength. Click here.

SAF Questions Indiana University Over "Workplace Safety" Course Teaching Biased History of Middle East

A lecturer in Indiana University's Health, Physical Education and Recreation Department teaches a class titled "Threats, Violence & Work Safety," which covers a biased view of Middle Eastern history. Click here for article.

University of Texas SAF Chapter Gets Favorable News Coverage on Local CBS Affiliate

SAF's UT Chapter members Brendan Steinhauser and Erin Randall both were interviewed on the 6 o'clock news for the local CBS Austin affiliate, KEYE, regarding the Academic Bill of Rights and free speech on the University of Texas' campus. The overall tone of the report was so favorable that even noted leftist journalism professor Robert Jensen expressed lukewarm support for the Academic Bill of Rights.

About SAF

Students for Academic Freedom has over 120 chapters around the country and growing. Do you want to report an example of academic bias? Click here.

Are you interested in organizing an SAF chapter on your campus? Contact the National Campus Director, Sara Dogan, at:

Sara@StudentsforAcademicFreedom.org

Or at:

202-969-2467

You can also write to the National Office of Students for Academic Freedom at:

Attn: Sara Dogan
Students for Academic Freedom
1015 15th Street, NW, #900
Washington, DC 20005

Would you like to make a donation to Students for Academic Freedom? Please click here.