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September 24, 2007
Columbia University President's Novel Ideas on Free Speech
Columbia University is placing rules and restrictions on free speech regarding Ahmadinajed opponents that gut Bollinger and Company's arguments regarding the goal of free speech and expression.
By the way, I attended University of Michigan law School while Bollinger was a professor of Constitutional Law there. I found him to be an uninspiring professor -- to say the least. As a friend (who also attended U of M law School but after I did) reminded me over the weekend, Bollinger also led the way, when he became Dean of the Law School, in changing the faculty and courses at the Law School to emphasize a very liberal approach to the law. For instance, be brought to the Law School Catherine MacKinnon, who has taken a radically feminist approach to the law. . He also created courses out of thin air that certainly leaned to the left in their focus.
Now comfortably ensconced at Columbia, Bollinger has issued some edicts about what is permissable when Iranian President Ahmadinejad comes calling. Via, The New Republic:
First, students will not be allowed to bring protest signs into the session on security grounds. What a wonderful way to support free speech -- this mirrors the prohibition at Tehran University where students were arrested for showing signs at one of his speeches. It appears that the Bollinger Administration at Columbia is more concerned about not offending the Iranian President than they are in promoting the idea of free speech on campus.
Second, students at Columbia need to give the University 7 days' notice to hold a protest rally. The administration conveniently gave them only 4 days' notice that Ahmadinejad was coming.
Third, it is unclear whether they will be able to ask questions spontaneously...they will apparently have to submit them in advance (though this isn't confirmed) so the administration can decide which questions get asked.