Rights in the News: Bucknell U. Feeds the FIRE

By June 12, 2009

By now Torch readers have likely seen FIRE’s press release criticizing the administration of Bucknell University for its repeated violations of the rights of the Bucknell University Conservatives Club (BUCC). Already dozens of Bucknell alumni and concerned citizens have written in urging Bucknell President Brian C. Mitchell to right this wrong, and the matter has so far caught the attention of The Volokh Conspiracy‘s Todd Zywicki, former FIRE president David French (who also noted Greg’s recent blog about the controversy over the College Democrats’ derecognition at Liberty University), and WorldNetDaily.

With the wider community starting to get wind of Bucknell’s indefensible treatment of the BUCC, the university could have taken the opportunity to get out in front of the issue and remedy the situation. Instead, as Robert noted yesterday, they used the newfound public interest in the matter to issue a gallingly off-base defense of their actions, unwilling even to concede that the BUCC’s Affirmative Action bake sale or distribution of "Obama stimulus dollars" were matters of free speech. So much for using the spotlight to their advantage.   

Meanwhile, word of student Christine Brashier’s treatment by the administration of the Community College of Allegheny County has continued to penetrate the news landscape. Robert appeared on two radio programs this weekincluding an hour-long guest appearance on Pittsburgh’s KDKA 1020 AMto discuss her case, and the Las Vegas Review-Journal covered it this week as well. And as Greg noted at The Huffington Post this week, FIRE has called on the University of California, Santa Barbara to drop its investigation of Professor William Robinson.