Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Campus speech suppression, a fall tradition 

David Beito reports that the Faculty Senate at the University of Alabama succumbed to the urge to suppress speech on campus. This occurs after an incident on the campus where a student at a student-organized party was the target of an anti-homosexual slur. David points out these two sentences appearing side-by-side in the resolution:
Whereas, the faculty of The University of Alabama cherishes freedom of speech as a fundamental right and strongly advocates freedom of speech in all aspects of University life; Whereas, the faculty of The University of Alabama recognizes that the right to freedom of speech is not absolute and is subject to both legal restrictions and standards of civility;
Been there, done that. The resolution doesn't call for any direct sanctions, but asks that everyone including guests of the University "to behave in a civil manner and to avoid any behavior which demeans or reduces an individual based on group affiliation or personal characteristics or which promotes hate or discrimination."

David cites this quote in the campus paper from one of the five people who abstained from voting.

Sen. Bing Blewitt, one of five senators who abstained from voting on the resolution, said the attempt to limit speech is a sensitive issue because offensive speech is subjective to each person.

"I think I know what is right and wrong but it's all that stuff in the middle," he said.

He wasn't there on Saint Crispin's Day, I'd venture.