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SAF Timeline Shows Progress of Academic Freedom Movement By: Sara Dogan
Students for Academic Freedom | Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Dear Students and Supporters,

When David Horowitz founded Students for Academic Freedom in the Spring of 2003, it was because of the need he saw for an organization to stand up for the rights of students to get a professional education and be free from political harassment in university classrooms. In the ensuing three years, we have launched an historic campaign for academic freedom involving over 150 campuses and thousands of students across the nation. With the adoption of the first student bill of rights in the nation by the trustees of Temple University, it is time to provide a summary chronicle of major events and achievements since our founding. SAF is proud to debut the SAF Timeline.

The history of success documented in the Timeline shows just how far we have come in a few short years. To cite just a few of our key achievements during this period:

  • In early summer 2003, David Horowitz meets with Governor Bill Owens of Colorado and a group of Colorado legislators led by Senate Majority Leader John Andrews to discuss the need for greater protections for students’ academic freedom. That winter, legislation proposing an Academic Bill of Rights for Colorado’s public colleges and universities is submitted to the state legislature and in March, the presidents of the four major public universities in the state sign a Memorandum of Understanding, pledging to protect academic freedom for students of all political viewpoints.
  • The Georgia State Senate Education Committee unanimously votes for the Academic Bill of Rights on March 9 after David Horowitz and local students testify at hearings. On March 23, the full Georgia State Senate votes 41-5 in favor of the Academic Bill of Rights.

  • The Pennsylvania House of Representatives votes 111-87 on July 5, 2005 to pass a resolution barring ideological discrimination in state-run schools. The resolution was inspired by David Horowitz’s Academic Bill of Rights, and creates a select committee which will hold hearings over the ensuing year to examine the state of academic freedom at Pennsylvania’s public college and universities.

The full SAF Timeline can be found on our website here.

The achievements of many of our student leaders are also showcased in the Timeline, such as Brooklyn College student Eldad Yaron who persuaded Brooklyn College’s Center for Diversity  to include “intellectual diversity” in its mission statement, and Georgia Tech student Ruth Malhotra, whose testimony before the Georgia State Senate and lawsuit against Georgia Tech have greatly improved the climate for students on her campus. Others, such as Nathaniel Walton and Daniel Schuberth from Maine, are featured for having spearheaded an academic freedom campaign in their state and organizing students to testify at legislative hearings.

We will continue to update and add to the Timeline and encourage students to send us news from the frontlines of the movement to add to the history we are building. If you have achieved a victory for academic freedom on your campus that is not yet on the Timeline, please email me at Sara@studentsforacademicfreedom.org so that it can be included.

For more information on bringing the Academic Bill of Rights and the Academic Freedom Movement to your campus, please contact me at Sara@studentsforacademicfreedom.org or at 888-527-3321. You can also find more information on our website at www.studentsforacademicfreedom.org.

Yours in Freedom,

Sara Dogan
National Campus Director
Students for Academic Freedom

Sara Dogan is National Campus Director of Students for Academic Freedom.

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