Wednesday, March 16, 2005
On this day:

UA SGA Senator Calls on Faculty to Rescind "Hate Speech" Resolution

Student Government Association Senator Richard Samples, who is leading the fight against the "hate speech" resolution passed by the UA Faculty Senate last fall, has an excellent opinion piece on the subject in today's Crimson White.

Speech codes in various forms, including that of harassment codes, have been part of American college life for the last two decades. The main purpose of these speech codes has been to suppress dissenting opinion, especially conservative opinion critical of liberal and leftist University policies.

...These codes invariably are used to justify "malicious aggression" against those who do not conform to the narrow ideology of the campus Left. Labeling dissenters as "haters" or "harassers" is a cowardly and immoral way of avoiding real, substantive debate...

While their collective heart may have been in the right place, the collective mind of the UA Faculty Senate certainly was not when they passed their resolution. They should exercise academic leadership and admit they made a mistake, then rescind their resolution. That would be an act of courage and decency that we could all admire.

Samples and other student leaders at UA are right on target. At a time when free inquiry and intellectual diversity are under attack on college campuses across the nation (e.g., see the latest in the Summers saga from Harvard), they have committed themselves to holding the high ground, and for that they should be commended.

Hat tip: Todd Zywicki at the Volokh Conspiracy and Charles Nuckolls at Liberty and Power.