Saturday, December 12, 2009

Another Newspaper Weighs In

Although a very strong opinion piece was written about The True BU case in the Whitworthian at Whitworth University in Spokane, Washington a bit back, I haven’t had time to mention it here. Like virtually all of the other pieces that have been written, this one too makes two points clearly: Butler’s actions have implications far beyond the Butler campus and The True BU was providing useful information. Here, in part, is what columnist Jacquelyn Wheeler had to say. The full piece is linked on the right so you can read it all if you want.

“Censorship can be a scary thing, especially when those being censored are trying to open doors for discussion and transparency. Jess Zimmerman, a student at Butler University started an anonymous blog titled the “TrueBU Blog” to create a forum of discussion for people to anonymously express what is really happening at Butler University.”

“He was careful to frame his work as an opinion, but the amount of digging that was done to find real concrete evidence for his case against the administration’s decision to fire Dr. Gullickson was impressive. It’s no wonder the university found his case threatening. His blog was shut down and the school sued him for it.”

“At this point, what Butler has done is give Zimmerman much more critical material for his new blog titled “I am ‘John Doe’.” This blog documents the legal happenings in his case and presents a whole new realm of harsher criticisms against the university by staff, clergy and other important community members.”

“[I]t ought to make us thankful for the competency and integrity of our administration. At the same time, though, we too ought to be watchful and hold Whitworth accountable to the high standards it professes.”

“Zimmerman’s blog was something he was, and still is, willing to stand by. It was meant to hold the university accountable, and it has. What could have been forgotten about in a very short period of time has provoked Butler University to actions that open the doors for even more criticism, analysis and change.”

Although I’ve said this before, let me repeat it now. I simply can’t understand why students from around the country, free speech experts from around the world, and people from all walks of life who learn about this situation have come to a conclusion so much at odds with that of Butler’s administration. From the beginning, I’ve never thought that there was anything complex about this case – but then Butler administrators opted to make a federal case out of it – well, literally a Marion County Superior/Circuit case.

I wonder why all of these people can see so clearly what the Butler administration has been so blind to.

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