Wednesday, April 18, 2007

State An Opinion, Lose Official Recognition

I've often heard those of us on the political right described as "Nazis" and "fascists", when in actually those two groups are very left-leaning. Heck, "Nazi" is short for National Socialist Workers Party, and socialists don't consider themselves to be on the political right!

But what other description than "fascist" is there when a university officially "derecognizes" a student group because it refuses to apologize for making constitutionally-protected speech?

“Neither the Student Senate nor anyone else at URI has the power to force the College Republicans to say things against their will,” FIRE President Greg Lukianoff said. “As bad as it may be to tell people what they cannot say, it is still worse to tell them what they must say. The Supreme Court has long recognized that compelled speech is not compatible with free societies. It is stunning that URI’s student government would show such contempt for fundamental rights, especially after URI’s own president explained it to them.”

If you think this behavior is acceptable, then you'd agree that it would be acceptable for Brigham Young University (which is private, and thus held to a lower 1st Amendment standard than the public URI) to compel women to apologize for openly supporting abortion.


Unknown said...

As cynical as I am, I was pretty amazed by this, after the President of the university told them they couldn't do it.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Heh - that scholarship idea was pretty funny.

Darren said...

Anonymous, please don't say asinine things and think I'll post them.

Anonymous said...

Last year at about this time, a previous iteration of this class visited this website as part of a research project involving the effect of blogs on communication and discussion. The project received positive reviews for the group's analysis, but the group was given an "incomplete" and was required to try another field because of research ethics violations. Namely, the researchers failed to inform the subjects that they were being monitored and then interacted with the website posing as disinterested parties.
We are going to attempt to continue their research, but this time we are informing all parties of our presence. Additionally, we will only passively monitor this site for the next two weeks -- no one from this class or group will contribute to the discussion or participate in any way.
We are only looking for one thing: evidence that web logs contribute to understanding and that the communication flow here is or is not unidirectional.
We will post again in four weeks to let you know that we are finished, and will contact you in approximately eight weeks to see if you are interested in the results.
Thank you in advance.