College censorship

April 22, 2000

by John Leo

The New York Sun

It’s not news that the modern university is censorship-prone, particularly when conservatives wish to speak, but the tactics of the censors keep changing. Here are some of the current ones:

Shrink the audience for unwanted speakers. Columbia University pioneered this tactic in 1998. Citing the possibility of turmoil by leftist protesters, the university ruled that only Columbia students could attend a scheduled on-campus event by the conservative group, Accuracy in Academia, thus banning hundreds of students from other area colleges who had paid to be there. Columbia reprised the tactic last fall after threats to disrupt a talk by anti-jihadist, Walid Shoebat, a former terrorist. Instead of beefing up security, the administration cut the crowd, allowing only 20 off-campus guests to attend...