Saturday, November 03, 2007

Why Do Universities Get a Liberal Rep?

All I know is, when I was in school, I was never offered extra credit for burning an American flag:

On the first day of class, associate professor Paul Grosswiler offered the credit to members of his History of Mass Communications class, according to sophomore Rebekah McDade. Disturbed by the comment, McDade dropped the class and intends to take the course again next semester with a different professor.

"I was offended," McDade said Friday. "I come from a family of military men and women, and the flag and Constitution are really important symbols to me because of my family background."

In an e-mail responding to a request for comment from the Bangor Daily News on Friday, Grosswiler said he thought McDade misunderstood the class discussion, which was intended to elicit thought about the First Amendment. He said he has held this same discussion for years without incident.

"I don’t intend for students to burn either the Constitution or the flag, and over the years hundreds of students have understood that," Grosswiler wrote...

When Grosswiler listed the extra-credit opportunities, McDade said the class of approximately 50 students grew very quiet, and some questioned whether he was serious.

At first, student Kathleen Dame said she thought Grosswiler was joking, but then he went on to explain to the class that burning the flag was not illegal. While Grosswiler approached the topic in a serious manner, Dame said she felt he used it as a tool to educate the class on the First Amendment.

"It was pretty outlandish and [he was] trying to prove a point," Dame said Friday.

While McDade said she would not be surprised if students followed through with the flag burning, Dame disagreed.

McDade made other claims about Grosswiler's presentation that are not references in the news article above:

According to McDade, Grosswiler had already claimed that free speech didn’t exist in America anymore because "the Republican administration has made it all but illegal."

"I was trying to listen to what he had to say about the course but he just kept making politically biased comments – all strongly liberal," said McDade.

When McDade left the class she was concerned that as a conservative she would be unable to participate fully in the class because of Grosswiler’s blatant bias. When Grosswiler’s left-wing outbursts continued in the next class, McDade left the class and asked her advisor if she could take the class another semester with an objective professor. The advisor agreed to her request.

As far as I can see, this is just a 'he said/she said' case right now; I see Professor Grosswiler's page lists his scholarly writings, but I don't see them available for review on the web.

Read also Right Wing News, Stop the ACLU, and Daily Pundit.

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