A few days ago, my colleagues and I at FIRE were remarking that campus life has increasingly taken a totalitarian turn this year, with one nonsensical restriction after another and an increasing tendency to engage in Kafkaesque procedures that attempt to manufacture guilt out of innocence.
Southwestern College has given us yet another example of this petty totalitarianism by banning three professors from campus because of their supposed incitement of students to express themselves outside of the college’s free speech zone (which is itself not any kind of offense, since Southwestern’s “free speech patio” is blatantly unconstitutional).
Thanks to cellphone cameras and blogs, though, it is easier than ever for people to get out the truth about what is happening on our campuses. The blog The Writer’s Washroom has an excellent account, with photographs, of the “incitement” that supposedly justified banning professors from campus.
Here’s a sample photo:
Yeah, it doesn’t look too serious to me either. When the police are standing around with their hands in their pockets, you can be pretty sure that things are not getting too violent.
Southwestern College has a lot of explaining to do about its treatment of its own professors.