NYU: PC censorship “not negotiable”

nyu-iconI usually wish these libertarians would shut up and just do their economics forecasts — especially those Ayn-Rand-worshipping Objectivist types. On the other hand, you can see how the left on a college campus, especially at the likes of NYU, could drive people to that! Either way, this is a problem (links added):

In violation of its own policies, New York University (NYU) is refusing to allow a student group to show the Danish cartoons of Mohammed at a public event tonight. Even though the purpose of the event is to show and discuss the cartoons, an administrator has suddenly ordered the students either not to display them or to exclude 150 off-campus guests from attending. . . .

Earlier this month, the NYU Objectivist Club decided to hold a panel discussion entitled “Free Speech and the Danish Cartoons,” at which the cartoons will be displayed…. Like previous NYU Objectivist Club events, the discussion was to be open to the public.

However, on Monday afternoon, NYU Director of Student Activities Robert Butler sent an e-mail requesting a meeting with the leaders of the Objectivist Club the next day. He also informed them that NYU would now “require that this event be open only to members of the NYU community.” Butler cited “the campus climate and controversy surrounding the cartoons,” ordering the students to inform the “non-NYU people” who had already registered that they “should not plan on attending.” He concluded, “This is not negotiable”

There’s extensive commentary and discussion at Volokh‘s and some good inside scoop here at Noodle Food (Via IP.)

UPDATE: What else happened, and didn’t happen, from Canonist. Incidentally, how do I square my criticism of NYU with this posting? A few ways: (1) NYU is being cynical and dishonest in the way it is rationalizing its decision, including outright manipulation of its own policies; (2) universities that claim, as NYU does (and as a church-affiliated institution might not), to be bubbling cauldrons of intellectual foment and free inquiry are indeed qualitatively different from mere airport and mall bookstores, and (3) NYU should be able to handle whatever comes its way in a way that a chain of commercial shops can’t.

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Author:Ron Coleman

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  1. Boycotting bookstores that boycott books? — Dean’s World - March 24, 2008

    […] What they’re saying is, “Sorry. We don’t want riots in our stores, okay? We don’t want our directors kidnapped. We don’t want our employees blown up.” Tim Blair think that makes them contemptible chickens. Glenn Reynolds calls them cowards. You know what? On my Likelihood of Confusion blog, where free speech is one of my thematic topics, I have still not reproduced the cartoons. I have a family, people. I can’t make a stand on this (supposedly) moral point; I’m not dying on this hill; and as a religious person myself, by the way, I’m not necessarily interested in promoting mockery of the founders of religions in the public forum. (But see here.) […]