Yesterday, FIRE received in the mail a copy of a letter from Maryland State Senator Alex X. Mooney to Johns Hopkins University President William Brody. Senator Mooney said that he was “distraught” to hear that Johns Hopkins, which has “an excellent reputation throughout the state of Maryland, and indeed the entire world,” would censor The Carrollton Record, a conservative student newspaper. Once you take a look at FIRE’s press release on the case, as well as our blogs on the subject so far, it’s clear that Senator Mooney has good reason to be distraught.
Senator Mooney makes the excellent points that students “should not be silenced” even when they disagree with professors or administrators, and that “silencing one political viewpoint harms the academic environment,” which is exactly what FIRE argues on a daily basis. He closes by requesting an explanation from President Brody as to why JHU has done what it has done and why it has been unfair to The Carrollton Record—excellent questions for a university that has admitted confiscating The Carrollton Record from dorms while apparently leaving other newspapers sitting in dorm newspaper racks, as well as investigating students for harassment (see page three of that letter) merely for printing a controversial news article.
Senator Mooney has posed some tough questions for JHU President Brody. We await his answers, and hope that this time, JHU sees fit to address all of FIRE’s concerns.