FIRE Comes to Chicago

By April 24, 2006

Be advised, Chicago-area Torch readers: FIRE’s own Greg Lukianoff is heading your way. Our fearless leader will be part of a panel discussion on the Danish cartoons of Mohammed tomorrow night at the University of Chicago. More information can be found in our press release on the event.

Incidentally, the Windy City is a very appropriate place for Greg to go these days. Chicago’s own DePaul University has been in the news repeatedly for suspending a professor for his criticism of Palestinians, squelching a student group’s efforts to protest a visit by Ward Churchill, and clamping down on an “affirmative action bake sale.”  And the U of C itself has been in the news several times, perhaps most notably for investigating a student who posted a cartoon captioned “Mo’ Mohammed, Mo’ Problems” on a dorm room door. The news accounts of this particular incident are not altogether clear, largely because the student in question has refused to talk to the media (and us). FIRE has attempted to contact several students involved in similarly troubling incidents, but not one has responded to our inquiries.

Are students at this fabled institution—known, actually, for being relatively friendly to freedom—afraid to stand up for their rights? We’re worried that many of them are—but let it be noted that at least two aren’t. Sophomore Christian Brockman, who will intern at FIRE this summer, is starting a student group explicitly dedicated to the defense of liberty, and senior Teresa Mia Bejan (whom I met last summer) wrote in defense of press freedom in the Chicago Maroon. Their university clearly needs more students like them, and hopefully Greg’s talk will bring some out of the woodwork.

If you’re in the area, please join Greg at 7 p.m. on Tuesday in room 107 of the Kent Chemical Laboratory Building.

Schools: University of Chicago DePaul University