Friday, August 05, 2005

DePaul gets in the line of FIRE

Tom Cieselka sent this link to me showing DePaul University's downward spiral of speech codes and censorship in light of the Thomas Klocek affair. FIRE is doing a great job of listing schools that stamp out the exchange of ideas in exchange for making people feel safe. While FIRE hasn't rated DePaul in terms of freeom of speech, it looks like they're contradicting a commitment to freedom of speech.

My alma mater, Southern Illinois University - Carbondale, rates a yellow. Their policies on free speech are ambiguous and prone to abuse, as we saw with Jonathan Bean's troubles with the SIUC History department.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It gets worse: The local ACLU, deeply divided over the issue, passed at the behest of President Richard Fedder (I am told) a resolution calling for a "racial harassment" code. This was after several meetings to discuss the Bean "case" without Bean present.

Sexual harassment codes are notorious tools for targeting unpopular figures. Several years back, I found myself defending a lesbian feminist student of mine from what I believe were false charges of "sexual harassment" (made by another FEMALE student!). It literally wrecked my student's life. In the end, after the accuser went through the multiple channels to make "women comfortable" filing charges, the university found there was "insufficient evidence" to punish her. No exoneration, just a ruined life at the hands of another student who knew the "system."

Bean brought Daphne Patai here to speak about her highly-recommended book on sexual harassment, _Heterophobia_. It is a great read! Another suggested read: The Shadow University, by Alan Kors, who est. F.I.R.E. FYI: Patai used SIUC's sexual harassment code as an example of what is wrong with the typical "policy." Of course, vigilantism can trump any policy or procedure if a mob runs wild. Speaking hypothetically, of course.

So, the local ACLU wants another anti-free speech code, though several faculty members including Mark Schneider and Lenny Gross fought it vigorously. (Disclosure: The local ACLU president, Richard Fedder, is married to Robbie Lieberman, who was involved in what the local press calls "the Bean affair").

I'm readying sound bites for what looks to be another round of race-baiting at SIUC, which some want to institutionalize.

Elephant Man