Nothing says “academic freedom” like kowtowing to a few hundred students who signed up for an anti-Palin Facebook page:
Anger over a decision to pay Bristol Palin several thousand dollars in student fees to talk to Washington University students about abstinence led to a decision Thursday night to nix Palin’s appearance on a panel here next month.
Washington University’s Student Health Advisory Committee had extended an invitation to Palin, a spokeswoman to prevent teen pregnancy, to speak on abstinence as part of the university’s Student Sexual Responsibility Week. . . .
A Facebook petition to compel the school to nix Palin’s appearance had hundreds of signatures Thursday evening. “It’s not necessarily in opposition to the ideas that are being presented,” explained Philip Thomas, the Washington U. student who initiated the petition. “People are getting so angry because of the opposition to Palin’s lack of expertise and the high cost she is charging,” especially in light of budget cuts that have adversely affected other student activities, he said.
Let us stipulate that, at any university in America, there are hundreds of students who would sign an anti-Palin petition. Washington University has 13,000 undergraduates. The student who organized the anti-Palin petition posted this last month at his blog:
The Economist on Dec. 9 2010 quotes Gallup polls that state that only 6% of scientists self-identify as Republican. It tickles me that, among those pursuing the systematic search for truth, so few align with Republican beliefs. Politically, the irrational actions of the GOP reinforce this poll quite clearly.
So a Democratic student organizes an anti-Palin petition and the university administration caves. What if there were “hundreds of signatures” on a student petition against a campus appearance by Michael Moore, Noam Chomsky, Al Gore or Barack Obama?
Why is it always Republican speakers whose speaking appearances are the objects of these hateful efforts to silence them?
So much for the “systematic search for truth,” eh?