Many people wonder who these students are who claim to be victims of professors who don't respect academic freedom. Why aren't they coming forward to provide evidence? Well, here we are and here are some examples of what has happened to us and to our friends:
In an introductory political science course, the professor is teaching the differences between contemporary American conservatism and liberalism. Right away, he states he is a liberal and knows little of the conservative movement. He spends one day on the history of conservatism and two weeks on the history and the future of liberalism. Throughout the course, he continues to relate how conservatives are wrong. Where is the balance?
Another professor states in her classroom, "Conservatives are just not open or curious people." This same professor invited a speaker to class to discuss the School of the Americas at Fort Benning, Ga. The speaker bashed the Reagan administration, the Heritage Foundation and the Bush administration. He told us that we are lucky to have this professor because she has enlightened us regarding the real truth. What is the real truth?
Many students have had problems with this professor over the aggressive way she pushes her personal ideology and some of them would like to report their concerns. But they are afraid because they need the credits to graduate and can't afford to drop the class.
In another classroom, a philosophy professor required the students to see Michael Moore's Bowling for Columbine. One of us asked to be excused from the exercise because of Moore's notorious bias and to instead be permitted to do another assignment, but the professor said "If you don't see the movie, you will fail the entire class." Fail the entire class! Should a student be forced to see propaganda without the presence of any countervailing material?
Moore has made a career of bashing conservatives without any pretense of scholarship. Why is his material part of the curriculum in a college class? We have collected many such experiences as students, and we are certain that many more have similar stories to tell. They just are too frightened of the consequences.
We believe the colleges and universities need to take a hard look into the way classes are being taught. If legislation is needed to force the school administrations to address the issue, then so be it.
It's about time that our elected officials, such as Sen. John Andrews and Gov. Bill Owens, stand up and fight for those whose voices have been silenced in the classroom.
George G. Culpepper Jr. is chairman of the Auraria College Republicans and Danielle Robinson is the organization's vice chairwoman.