Jan 252004
 
Authors: Christopher J. Ortiz

Apparently professors at the University of Colorado are forcing

their left-winged ideology down student’s throat enough for a

student Republican leader to start a Web site in which conservative

students can start a watch list of liberally slanted

professors.

According to a Denver Post story, Brad Jones, chairman of the

College Republicans, started the Web site to report professors who

promote their liberal doctrine to their students. Jones and the CU

College Republicans are affiliated with Students for Academic

Freedom.

This blacklist, err, I mean “watch list,” should send shivers

down the back of college students.

Students should remember last year when a bill was being

discussed that would require state college and university officials

to educate students and faculty better about their rights against

political and ideological bias by other professors and

administrators, reports Fox News. Colorado Sen. John Andrews told

the news channel that he plans on introducing the bill in the

upcoming weeks.

We live in times where politics intersect with almost every

aspect of everyday life. These days, everything is political: from

the economy to the Mad Cow scare to the blackout of 2003. With the

Iraq issue and the upcoming November elections, in addition to

everything else, stances on both sides of the political spectrum

are being fiercely supported, defended, argued and discussed. It

seems everyone has an opinion, a strong one, about everything and I

think that is a good thing, but I do agree that professors and

faculty members need to try to keep their arguments out of their

classrooms and teachings.

In my experience, I have had a teacher who was very open with

her opinions, especially about how she felt about the war in Iraq

and capital punishment. Retrospectively, I probably should have

discussed my concerns with a department chair or dean.

But what Jones and other conservatives are claiming is that

students can’t think for themselves. That students are mindlessly

hopeless to professors’ political allocution and that these

conservatives are encouraging students not to talk to the professor

or university officials about this problem but rather post the

professor’s name on a watch list. And they are claiming that only

liberal professors pose this treat, apparently conservative

professors have no problem keeping their political stance at

home.

I think professors who put their liberal perspective on the

classroom table are more easily noticeable than a professor who

does the same with his/her conservative perspective because of the

fact that conservative views are very much considered the norm in

some disciplines. Take business for example: if a business

professor talks about utilizing free trade agreements to move

American jobs overseas to maximize profits, no one is going to rush

to a Web site to report this professor as a conservative radical.

But yet if the same professor discusses the benefits of labor

unions or the idea of co-op businesses, that professor is going to

be flagged by students who feel this kind of crazy liberal thinking

has no place in a higher education department.

This kind of blacklisting is not going to improve higher

education, only set it back to the McCarthyism of the1950s, and who

wants to go back to those times?

I encourage students to send letters to the editors about any

experiences they may have had with teachers who they feel have

pushed their own political agenda on students or students who feel

the opposite. Please do not disclose the name of the professor or

class.

Chris is a senior majoring in history and journalism. He is the

opinion editor for The Collegian.

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