Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A Lesson for Activists

Though I don't agree with the conservative ideology of these professors, their battle is very interesting, as it shows how much of the oppressive and seemingly intractable bureaucracy one can fight if one puts one's mind to it. In particular, a principled, open and direct approach is just what our opponents fear, as that forces them to give reasons for their positions and to set firm precedents -- something which is anathema to their "fluid" thought processes. Here's the authors' summary of their activism approach:
So we responded with boldness and openness in every public venue we could.

We publicized the investigation thoroughly through opinion columns and letters to the editor. We proposed and began to work through university governance on an amendment to the Anti-Discrimination Policy to better protect free speech. We brought the movie Indoctrinate U to campus and leafleted students on the campus Library Bridge urging them to attend. We also began meetings with representatives in the state legislature who were becoming interested in the problem.

The defiance and vigor of our response was almost certainly a shock to the Office for Inclusion and to the university administration generally. And worse still for them was out (sic) outreach to the state legislature. In fact, the investigation (then going on six months) ended the day after Allen and I met with one of the leaders of the majority Senate Republicans in Michigan. The investigation report released in March 2008 concluded that no discrimination had taken place at a "level" that called for any action against the student groups or the advisors.
HT: TU editors

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