Thursday, May 03, 2007

More on Temple Debate

At the bottom of this post is a letter by Temple senior Jack Posobiec to Temple officials about the infamous email dispute.

And here's what I wrote Jack:

I disagree with you on a couple of items. First of all, I think it's perfectly possible for someone to learn something from a one-sided protest; why can't protests be educational? Second, I don't see why sending out a flyer announcing a protest is synonymous with endorsing the views expressed in the flyer or the protest.

My primary concern, however, is that you want the administration to enforce your will rather than relying upon the free exchange of ideas. If you don't like what the Honors Program did, you're perfectly free to write a letter expressing your view and let the entire campus know about it. You're also perfectly free to organize an event supporting the war and ask the Honors Program to promote that event. But what exactly is the harm to you of being informed about an event on campus? Exactly what is wrong with being offended that it requires you to seek administrative punishment of those involved remotely with the event?

letter by Jack Posobiec:
"Dear Provost Englert,
I am disappointed to report to you a gross violation of Temple
University Policy 03.70.02 that has been committed by the
Temple Honors Department through their endorsement and
advocacy of a politically charged, non-educational event.

On March 14th, an e-mail was sent to every student member of
the Temple Honors Department inciting protest and
demonstration against the American military’s “butchery” in
Iraq on this Friday, March 16th.

Such political demonstrations are part of the freedom of
expression best found on Temple’s campus. However, Temple
students are not well-served by the Temple Honors Department
advocating a partisan political agenda.

A Temple University student’s “freedom to learn depends
upon appropriate opportunities and conditions in the
classroom, on the campus, and in the larger community. The
University and the faculty have a responsibility to provide
students with opportunities and protections that promote the
learning process in all its aspects.”
- Temple University Policy 03.70.02

This is not an event where Temple students are encouraged to
or able to learn anything. This is a controversial,
politically-charged, politically-motivated event inciting
Temple students to “demonstrate and speak out against 4 years
of butchery in Iraq.”

As this violation involved a Temple Department rather than a
Temple professor, I am making this formal complaint to you,
the Temple Provost, directly.

On behalf of myself, Ryan McCool, and Temple Students for
Academic Freedom, I implore you to take the necessary actions
to explain Temple University Policy 03.70.02 to the Temple
Honors Department, and ensure their compliance with this
University Policy.

On a personal note, I am very appalled that the Temple Honors
Department would endorse and advocate an event which describes
the United States military’s virtuous service and sacrifice as
“4 years of butchery.” This is terribly offensive to any
Temple University student who has a friend or family member
that has paid the ultimate price for their country, to any who
have loved ones currently serving in the military and/or in
Iraq, and to members of the Temple ROTC who walk by the Bell
Tower as much as any other Temple student.

Thank you,
Jack Posobiec"

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