This week, as the Terrorism Awareness Project provides speakers at college campuses in order to increase awareness about terrorism of the Muslim extremist variety, the predictable has come to pass: speakers have been prevented by protesters from enjoying their freedom of speech. At Emory University, David Horowitz’s lecture ended prematurely when audience members refused to hear him out. A photo essay describes what protesters did to Nonie Darwish at Berkeley. Rick Santorum suffered a similar fate at Penn State. The Washington Times has a list of those who are blogging about such events here.
Students who are hosting a screening of a related film, Obsession, at Washington State University (WSU) are particularly concerned, given the fact that the university financed and organized the disruption of a controversial play in 2005. Now, students are reporting that WSU is at it again. The College Republicans at WSU were instructed by Timothy Richel, Manager of Registered Student Organizations at WSU, that “an announcement must be made” at the film’s screening that the Progressive Student Union would be holding its own discussion of the film. The students report that WSU has already backed down from its attempt to coerce student speech, but they allege that WSU is violating its obligation to remain value-neutral in its treatment of student organizations by granting one student organization resources to protest what another student organization is doing. If WSU is providing such resources outside of the regular resource allocation process for student organizations, as I have been told, it looks like unconstitutional viewpoint discrimination to me.