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Support Academic Freedom!

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  • tiff_scifi
    Below is the text of a letter and a link to a petition that s circulating. If you support our opinions, sign the petition or join the facebook group. Thanks.
    Message 1 of 5 , Feb 24, 2009
      Below is the text of a letter and a link to a petition that's
      circulating. If you support our opinions, sign the petition or join
      the facebook group.

      Thanks.

      As members of the academic community, we are deeply saddened by the
      statements made by State Representatives Charlice Byrd and Calvin Hill
      (R-Georgia), which were reported on by CNN on February 18, 2009 (see:
      http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/living/2009/02/18/am.costello.teaching.sex.cnn).
      Both legislators, supported by the Christian Coalition, have declared
      their opposition to the teaching of queer theory, sexuality, and
      similar subjects on moral grounds, arguing that these courses should
      be cut because they are a waste of taxpayer money.

      Granted, lawmakers are entitled to their opinion; the first amendment
      guarantees their right to express it freely. However, representatives
      Byrd, Hill and their supporters demonstrate a complete disregard and
      lack of understanding of the fundamental mission of a university.

      The principle of Academic Freedom helps define our roles and
      responsibilities as members of the university community. Individually
      and collectively, through our teaching and scholarship, we encourage
      our students to search and discover knowledge. Academic freedom
      protects us and our rights to conduct research, to publish and to
      freely discuss ideas that are relevant to our fields of study. The
      principle, as defined by the American Association of University
      Professors, also recognizes our rights, as citizens, to free
      expression of our opinions, which should not be restricted by the
      institution. At the same time, we are reminded of our special
      obligations to our students, and to the community. Hence, we are urged
      to "exercise proper restraint", to avoid controversies that have no
      bearing to our subject matter, to respect the opinions of others, and
      "to make every effort to indicate that they are not speaking for the
      institution" for which we work (AAUP, 1940).

      We believe that classrooms are spaces to discuss ideas. A well-rounded
      education, furthermore, is not just about learning practical skills;
      it should help students develop their ability to think critically, and
      to engage and question their surroundings, their culture, their
      government, and even their religious beliefs. If they can come out on
      the other side with deeper convictions, either those they held before
      or new ones they have embraced, then we can say that it was all worth
      it. The grading, the uninspired students, the incomprehensible
      committee jargon... all of it.

      Still, it saddens us that lawmakers in Georgia find so much to object
      about, and that they use their position as a bully pulpit. They
      obviously don't understand that queer theory, for example, is not
      meant as an attempt to recruit new "queers"; it is a useful tool to
      understand society and culture from the point of view of a group that
      has always been on the outside looking in. We can only hope that most
      of the students to come out of such a course would be better equipped
      to handle themselves in a diverse world than legislators Byrd and Hill
      are.

      We support our colleagues and appreciate the freedom to share
      knowledge, and we encourage everyone who shares these sentiments to
      sign our online petition, available at
      http://www.petitiononline.com/MDIA/petition.html, and/or join our
      Facebook group at http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=55324105142


      Sincerely,

      Cynara M. Medina, School of Media Arts and Studies - Ohio University
      Dan Nelson, School of Media Arts and Studies - Ohio University
      Mia Consalvo, School of Media Arts and Studies - Ohio University
      Roger Cooper, School of Media Arts and Studies - Ohio University
      Joseph Straubhaar, Department of Radio-Television-Film, University of
      Texas at Austin
      Janie Henderson, School of Media Arts and Studies - Ohio University
      Will Klatt, School of Media Arts and Studies - Ohio University
      Danielle M. Stern, Department of Communication - Christopher Newport
      University
      Meghan Peirce, School of Media Arts and Studies - Ohio University
      Todd Harper, School of Media Arts and Studies - Ohio University
      Erin L. Hill, University of Colorado - Denver
      Victoria Wang, School of Media Arts and Studies - Ohio University
      Yu-ping Cheng, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
      Jill Estep, Staff - Ohio University
      Tanja E. Bosch, Lecturer, University of Cape Town, South Africa
      Masudul Biswas, Louisiana State University.
      Raúl A. Mora, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
      Laura M. Rusnak, School of Media Arts and Studies - Ohio University
      Emily Kresiak, Department of Sociology - Ohio University
      Tiffany Teofilo, School of Media Arts and Studies -Ohio University
      Ann Alquist, School of Media Arts and Studies - Ohio University
      Shane Tilton, School of Media Arts and Studies - Ohio University
      Aarthi Rayapura, Ohio University Alumna
      Virginia Lacayo, School of Media Arts and Studies - Ohio University
      Tiffany Bowden, School of Media Arts and Studies - Ohio University
      Jamie McDonald, Graduate Teaching Fellow, University of Utah
    • Keith Boepple
      I could not get the link to work to see the comments made by Byrd and Hill. Any other source to check out what they said? Keith Boepple
      Message 2 of 5 , Feb 24, 2009
        I could not get the link to work to see the comments made by Byrd and
        Hill. Any other source to check out what they said?

        Keith Boepple
        tiff_scifi wrote:
        >
        > Below is the text of a letter and a link to a petition that's
        > circulating. If you support our opinions, sign the petition or join
        > the facebook group.
        >
        > Thanks.
        >
        > As members of the academic community, we are deeply saddened by the
        > statements made by State Representatives Charlice Byrd and Calvin Hill
        > (R-Georgia), which were reported on by CNN on February 18, 2009 (see:
        > http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/living/2009/02/18/am.costello.teaching.sex.cnn
        > <http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/living/2009/02/18/am.costello.teaching.sex.cnn>).
        > Both legislators, supported by the Christian Coalition, have declared
        > their opposition to the teaching of queer theory, sexuality, and
        > similar subjects on moral grounds, arguing that these courses should
        > be cut because they are a waste of taxpayer money.
        >
        > Granted, lawmakers are entitled to their opinion; the first amendment
        > guarantees their right to express it freely. However, representatives
        > Byrd, Hill and their supporters demonstrate a complete disregard and
        > lack of understanding of the fundamental mission of a university.
        >
        > The principle of Academic Freedom helps define our roles and
        > responsibilities as members of the university community. Individually
        > and collectively, through our teaching and scholarship, we encourage
        > our students to search and discover knowledge. Academic freedom
        > protects us and our rights to conduct research, to publish and to
        > freely discuss ideas that are relevant to our fields of study. The
        > principle, as defined by the American Association of University
        > Professors, also recognizes our rights, as citizens, to free
        > expression of our opinions, which should not be restricted by the
        > institution. At the same time, we are reminded of our special
        > obligations to our students, and to the community. Hence, we are urged
        > to "exercise proper restraint", to avoid controversies that have no
        > bearing to our subject matter, to respect the opinions of others, and
        > "to make every effort to indicate that they are not speaking for the
        > institution" for which we work (AAUP, 1940).
        >
        > We believe that classrooms are spaces to discuss ideas. A well-rounded
        > education, furthermore, is not just about learning practical skills;
        > it should help students develop their ability to think critically, and
        > to engage and question their surroundings, their culture, their
        > government, and even their religious beliefs. If they can come out on
        > the other side with deeper convictions, either those they held before
        > or new ones they have embraced, then we can say that it was all worth
        > it. The grading, the uninspired students, the incomprehensible
        > committee jargon... all of it.
        >
        > Still, it saddens us that lawmakers in Georgia find so much to object
        > about, and that they use their position as a bully pulpit. They
        > obviously don't understand that queer theory, for example, is not
        > meant as an attempt to recruit new "queers"; it is a useful tool to
        > understand society and culture from the point of view of a group that
        > has always been on the outside looking in. We can only hope that most
        > of the students to come out of such a course would be better equipped
        > to handle themselves in a diverse world than legislators Byrd and Hill
        > are.
        >
        > We support our colleagues and appreciate the freedom to share
        > knowledge, and we encourage everyone who shares these sentiments to
        > sign our online petition, available at
        > http://www.petitiononline.com/MDIA/petition.html,
        > <http://www.petitiononline.com/MDIA/petition.html,> and/or join our
        > Facebook group at http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=55324105142
        > <http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=55324105142>
        >
        > Sincerely,
        >
        > Cynara M. Medina, School of Media Arts and Studies - Ohio University
        > Dan Nelson, School of Media Arts and Studies - Ohio University
        > Mia Consalvo, School of Media Arts and Studies - Ohio University
        > Roger Cooper, School of Media Arts and Studies - Ohio University
        > Joseph Straubhaar, Department of Radio-Television-Film, University of
        > Texas at Austin
        > Janie Henderson, School of Media Arts and Studies - Ohio University
        > Will Klatt, School of Media Arts and Studies - Ohio University
        > Danielle M. Stern, Department of Communication - Christopher Newport
        > University
        > Meghan Peirce, School of Media Arts and Studies - Ohio University
        > Todd Harper, School of Media Arts and Studies - Ohio University
        > Erin L. Hill, University of Colorado - Denver
        > Victoria Wang, School of Media Arts and Studies - Ohio University
        > Yu-ping Cheng, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
        > Jill Estep, Staff - Ohio University
        > Tanja E. Bosch, Lecturer, University of Cape Town, South Africa
        > Masudul Biswas, Louisiana State University.
        > Raúl A. Mora, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
        > Laura M. Rusnak, School of Media Arts and Studies - Ohio University
        > Emily Kresiak, Department of Sociology - Ohio University
        > Tiffany Teofilo, School of Media Arts and Studies -Ohio University
        > Ann Alquist, School of Media Arts and Studies - Ohio University
        > Shane Tilton, School of Media Arts and Studies - Ohio University
        > Aarthi Rayapura, Ohio University Alumna
        > Virginia Lacayo, School of Media Arts and Studies - Ohio University
        > Tiffany Bowden, School of Media Arts and Studies - Ohio University
        > Jamie McDonald, Graduate Teaching Fellow, University of Utah
        >
        >
        > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
        >
        > No virus found in this incoming message.
        > Checked by AVG.
        > Version: 7.5.557 / Virus Database: 270.11.3/1970 - Release Date: 2/24/2009 1:35 PM
        >
      • Tiffany Teofilo
        The link to the video worked for me, but just in case others have issues, here are some sources for this current situation in GA:
        Message 3 of 5 , Feb 24, 2009
          The link to the video worked for me, but just in case others have issues, here are some sources for this current situation in GA:

          http://www.newschannel9.com/news/georgia_975790___article.html/reported_dollars.html

          http://media.www.redandblack.com/media/storage/paper871/news/2009/02/17/Opinions/Our-Take-3632604.shtml

          http://www.ajc.com/services/content/metro/stories/2009/02/10/legislature_sex_experts.html?cxtype=rss&cxsvc=7&cxcat=13

          http://onlineathens.com/stories/021109/uga_386728971.shtml

          http://www.cbsatlanta.com/news/18657237/detail.html







          On Tue, Feb 24, 2009 at 7:38 PM, Keith Boepple <keboepple@...> wrote:

          I could not get the link to work to see the comments made by Byrd and
          Hill. Any other source to check out what they said?

          Keith Boepple


          tiff_scifi wrote:
          >
          > Below is the text of a letter and a link to a petition that's
          > circulating. If you support our opinions, sign the petition or join
          > the facebook group.
          >
          > Thanks.
          >
          > As members of the academic community, we are deeply saddened by the
          > statements made by State Representatives Charlice Byrd and Calvin Hill
          > (R-Georgia), which were reported on by CNN on February 18, 2009 (see:
          > http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/living/2009/02/18/am.costello.teaching.sex.cnn
          > <http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/living/2009/02/18/am.costello.teaching.sex.cnn>).
          > Both legislators, supported by the Christian Coalition, have declared
          > their opposition to the teaching of queer theory, sexuality, and
          > similar subjects on moral grounds, arguing that these courses should
          > be cut because they are a waste of taxpayer money.
          >
          > Granted, lawmakers are entitled to their opinion; the first amendment
          > guarantees their right to express it freely. However, representatives
          > Byrd, Hill and their supporters demonstrate a complete disregard and
          > lack of understanding of the fundamental mission of a university.
          >
          > The principle of Academic Freedom helps define our roles and
          > responsibilities as members of the university community. Individually
          > and collectively, through our teaching and scholarship, we encourage
          > our students to search and discover knowledge. Academic freedom
          > protects us and our rights to conduct research, to publish and to
          > freely discuss ideas that are relevant to our fields of study. The
          > principle, as defined by the American Association of University
          > Professors, also recognizes our rights, as citizens, to free
          > expression of our opinions, which should not be restricted by the
          > institution. At the same time, we are reminded of our special
          > obligations to our students, and to the community. Hence, we are urged
          > to "exercise proper restraint", to avoid controversies that have no
          > bearing to our subject matter, to respect the opinions of others, and
          > "to make every effort to indicate that they are not speaking for the
          > institution" for which we work (AAUP, 1940).
          >
          > We believe that classrooms are spaces to discuss ideas. A well-rounded
          > education, furthermore, is not just about learning practical skills;
          > it should help students develop their ability to think critically, and
          > to engage and question their surroundings, their culture, their
          > government, and even their religious beliefs. If they can come out on
          > the other side with deeper convictions, either those they held before
          > or new ones they have embraced, then we can say that it was all worth
          > it. The grading, the uninspired students, the incomprehensible
          > committee jargon... all of it.
          >
          > Still, it saddens us that lawmakers in Georgia find so much to object
          > about, and that they use their position as a bully pulpit. They
          > obviously don't understand that queer theory, for example, is not
          > meant as an attempt to recruit new "queers"; it is a useful tool to
          > understand society and culture from the point of view of a group that
          > has always been on the outside looking in. We can only hope that most
          > of the students to come out of such a course would be better equipped
          > to handle themselves in a diverse world than legislators Byrd and Hill
          > are.
          >
          > We support our colleagues and appreciate the freedom to share
          > knowledge, and we encourage everyone who shares these sentiments to
          > sign our online petition, available at
          > http://www.petitiononline.com/MDIA/petition.html,
          > <http://www.petitiononline.com/MDIA/petition.html,> and/or join our
          > Facebook group at http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=55324105142
          > <http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=55324105142>
          >
          > Sincerely,
          >
          > Cynara M. Medina, School of Media Arts and Studies - Ohio University
          > Dan Nelson, School of Media Arts and Studies - Ohio University
          > Mia Consalvo, School of Media Arts and Studies - Ohio University
          > Roger Cooper, School of Media Arts and Studies - Ohio University
          > Joseph Straubhaar, Department of Radio-Television-Film, University of
          > Texas at Austin
          > Janie Henderson, School of Media Arts and Studies - Ohio University
          > Will Klatt, School of Media Arts and Studies - Ohio University
          > Danielle M. Stern, Department of Communication - Christopher Newport
          > University
          > Meghan Peirce, School of Media Arts and Studies - Ohio University
          > Todd Harper, School of Media Arts and Studies - Ohio University
          > Erin L. Hill, University of Colorado - Denver
          > Victoria Wang, School of Media Arts and Studies - Ohio University
          > Yu-ping Cheng, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
          > Jill Estep, Staff - Ohio University
          > Tanja E. Bosch, Lecturer, University of Cape Town, South Africa
          > Masudul Biswas, Louisiana State University.
          > Raúl A. Mora, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
          > Laura M. Rusnak, School of Media Arts and Studies - Ohio University
          > Emily Kresiak, Department of Sociology - Ohio University
          > Tiffany Teofilo, School of Media Arts and Studies -Ohio University
          > Ann Alquist, School of Media Arts and Studies - Ohio University
          > Shane Tilton, School of Media Arts and Studies - Ohio University
          > Aarthi Rayapura, Ohio University Alumna
          > Virginia Lacayo, School of Media Arts and Studies - Ohio University
          > Tiffany Bowden, School of Media Arts and Studies - Ohio University
          > Jamie McDonald, Graduate Teaching Fellow, University of Utah
          >
          >
          > ----------------------------------------------------------
          >
          > No virus found in this incoming message.
          > Checked by AVG.
          > Version: 7.5.557 / Virus Database: 270.11.3/1970 - Release Date: 2/24/2009 1:35 PM
          >




          --
          Tiffany S. Teofilo
          PhD Student
          School of Media Arts and Studies
          Ohio University
          Athens, Ohio
          tsteofilo@...
        • juicexango
          ... http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/living/2009/02/18/am.costello.teaching.sex.cnn). ... I agree with the lawmakers. If there are a group of sociologists who
          Message 4 of 5 , Feb 28, 2009
            --- In americancomm@yahoogroups.com, "tiff_scifi" <tsteofilo@...> wrote:
            >
            > Below is the text of a letter and a link to a petition that's
            > circulating. If you support our opinions, sign the petition or join
            > the facebook group.
            >
            > Thanks.
            >
            > As members of the academic community, we are deeply saddened by the
            > statements made by State Representatives Charlice Byrd and Calvin Hill
            > (R-Georgia), which were reported on by CNN on February 18, 2009 (see:
            >
            http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/living/2009/02/18/am.costello.teaching.sex.cnn).
            > Both legislators, supported by the Christian Coalition, have declared
            > their opposition to the teaching of queer theory, sexuality, and
            > similar subjects on moral grounds, arguing that these courses should
            > be cut because they are a waste of taxpayer money.

            I agree with the lawmakers. If there are a group of sociologists who
            want to teach these subjects then they should find someone with deep
            pockets (i.e. Bill Gates) to endow a chair. The taxpayers of Georgia
            should not be forced to pay for subjects with which they may not
            agree, particularly in these times of very tight state' budgets.

            >
            > Granted, lawmakers are entitled to their opinion; the first amendment
            > guarantees their right to express it freely. However, representatives
            > Byrd, Hill and their supporters demonstrate a complete disregard and
            > lack of understanding of the fundamental mission of a university.

            When a person makes a statement supposedly supporting a differing
            opinion from their own then throws in "but" or "however," it indicates
            they really do not believe what they just stated. The writer of this
            tome does not really support the lawmakers' First Amendment rights.

            >
            > The principle of Academic Freedom helps define our roles and
            > responsibilities as members of the university community. Individually
            > and collectively, through our teaching and scholarship, we encourage
            > our students to search and discover knowledge. Academic freedom
            > protects us and our rights to conduct research, to publish and to
            > freely discuss ideas that are relevant to our fields of study. The
            > principle, as defined by the American Association of University
            > Professors, also recognizes our rights, as citizens, to free
            > expression of our opinions, which should not be restricted by the
            > institution. At the same time, we are reminded of our special
            > obligations to our students, and to the community. Hence, we are urged
            > to "exercise proper restraint", to avoid controversies that have no
            > bearing to our subject matter, to respect the opinions of others, and
            > "to make every effort to indicate that they are not speaking for the
            > institution" for which we work (AAUP, 1940).
            >
            > We believe that classrooms are spaces to discuss ideas. A well-rounded
            > education, furthermore, is not just about learning practical skills;
            > it should help students develop their ability to think critically, and
            > to engage and question their surroundings, their culture, their
            > government, and even their religious beliefs. If they can come out on
            > the other side with deeper convictions, either those they held before
            > or new ones they have embraced, then we can say that it was all worth
            > it. The grading, the uninspired students, the incomprehensible
            > committee jargon... all of it.
            >
            > Still, it saddens us that lawmakers in Georgia find so much to object
            > about, and that they use their position as a bully pulpit. They
            > obviously don't understand that queer theory, for example, is not
            > meant as an attempt to recruit new "queers"; it is a useful tool to
            > understand society and culture from the point of view of a group that
            > has always been on the outside looking in.

            GOOD! Then I guess the signers of this letter would support the
            introduction in their institutions of a course on the history, myth
            and legends of firearms, including how firearm manufacturers methods
            of safety and quality have influenced most other manufacturing methods.

            Or how about a course on the morals, ethics and values of traditional
            Judeo/Christian faiths with a compare and contrast of other belief
            systems such as Atheism, Agnosticism, Satanism, and other non-Jewish
            and non-Christian religions.

            > We can only hope that most
            > of the students to come out of such a course would be better equipped
            > to handle themselves in a diverse world than legislators Byrd and Hill
            > are. (A cheap shot at the Ms. Byrd and Mr. Hill.)
            >
            > We support our colleagues and appreciate the freedom to share
            > knowledge, and we encourage everyone who shares these sentiments to
            > sign our online petition, available at
            > http://www.petitiononline.com/MDIA/petition.html, and/or join our
            > Facebook group at http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=55324105142
            >
            >
            > Sincerely,
            >
            > Cynara M. Medina, School of Media Arts and Studies - Ohio University
            > Dan Nelson, School of Media Arts and Studies - Ohio University
            > Mia Consalvo, School of Media Arts and Studies - Ohio University
            > Roger Cooper, School of Media Arts and Studies - Ohio University
            > Joseph Straubhaar, Department of Radio-Television-Film, University of
            > Texas at Austin
            > Janie Henderson, School of Media Arts and Studies - Ohio University
            > Will Klatt, School of Media Arts and Studies - Ohio University
            > Danielle M. Stern, Department of Communication - Christopher Newport
            > University
            > Meghan Peirce, School of Media Arts and Studies - Ohio University
            > Todd Harper, School of Media Arts and Studies - Ohio University
            > Erin L. Hill, University of Colorado - Denver
            > Victoria Wang, School of Media Arts and Studies - Ohio University
            > Yu-ping Cheng, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
            > Jill Estep, Staff - Ohio University
            > Tanja E. Bosch, Lecturer, University of Cape Town, South Africa
            > Masudul Biswas, Louisiana State University.
            > Raúl A. Mora, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
            > Laura M. Rusnak, School of Media Arts and Studies - Ohio University
            > Emily Kresiak, Department of Sociology - Ohio University
            > Tiffany Teofilo, School of Media Arts and Studies -Ohio University
            > Ann Alquist, School of Media Arts and Studies - Ohio University
            > Shane Tilton, School of Media Arts and Studies - Ohio University
            > Aarthi Rayapura, Ohio University Alumna
            > Virginia Lacayo, School of Media Arts and Studies - Ohio University
            > Tiffany Bowden, School of Media Arts and Studies - Ohio University
            > Jamie McDonald, Graduate Teaching Fellow, University of Utah
            >
            Interesting. Not a single person listed is from Georgia.
          • Tiffany Teofilo
            This was the *earliest *form of the petition. We had just begun to circulate it. If you look at the site: http://www.petitiononline.com/MDIA/petition.html
            Message 5 of 5 , Feb 28, 2009
              This was the earliest form of the petition.  We had just begun to circulate it.  If you look at the site: http://www.petitiononline.com/MDIA/petition.html you will see that people from around the country, including Georgia, have signed this petition.  This was another way for us to get the word out when my colleague finished writing the petition.

              Thanks.



              On Sat, Feb 28, 2009 at 10:20 AM, juicexango <juicexango@...> wrote:

              --- In americancomm@yahoogroups.com, "tiff_scifi" <tsteofilo@...> wrote:
              >
              > Below is the text of a letter and a link to a petition that's
              > circulating. If you support our opinions, sign the petition or join
              > the facebook group.
              >
              > Thanks.
              >
              > As members of the academic community, we are deeply saddened by the
              > statements made by State Representatives Charlice Byrd and Calvin Hill
              > (R-Georgia), which were reported on by CNN on February 18, 2009 (see:
              >
              http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/living/2009/02/18/am.costello.teaching.sex.cnn).
              > Both legislators, supported by the Christian Coalition, have declared
              > their opposition to the teaching of queer theory, sexuality, and
              > similar subjects on moral grounds, arguing that these courses should
              > be cut because they are a waste of taxpayer money.

              I agree with the lawmakers. If there are a group of sociologists who
              want to teach these subjects then they should find someone with deep
              pockets (i.e. Bill Gates) to endow a chair. The taxpayers of Georgia
              should not be forced to pay for subjects with which they may not
              agree, particularly in these times of very tight state' budgets.

              >
              > Granted, lawmakers are entitled to their opinion; the first amendment
              > guarantees their right to express it freely. However, representatives
              > Byrd, Hill and their supporters demonstrate a complete disregard and
              > lack of understanding of the fundamental mission of a university.

              When a person makes a statement supposedly supporting a differing
              opinion from their own then throws in "but" or "however," it indicates
              they really do not believe what they just stated. The writer of this
              tome does not really support the lawmakers' First Amendment rights.

              >
              > The principle of Academic Freedom helps define our roles and
              > responsibilities as members of the university community. Individually
              > and collectively, through our teaching and scholarship, we encourage
              > our students to search and discover knowledge. Academic freedom
              > protects us and our rights to conduct research, to publish and to
              > freely discuss ideas that are relevant to our fields of study. The
              > principle, as defined by the American Association of University
              > Professors, also recognizes our rights, as citizens, to free
              > expression of our opinions, which should not be restricted by the
              > institution. At the same time, we are reminded of our special
              > obligations to our students, and to the community. Hence, we are urged
              > to "exercise proper restraint", to avoid controversies that have no
              > bearing to our subject matter, to respect the opinions of others, and
              > "to make every effort to indicate that they are not speaking for the
              > institution" for which we work (AAUP, 1940).
              >
              > We believe that classrooms are spaces to discuss ideas. A well-rounded
              > education, furthermore, is not just about learning practical skills;
              > it should help students develop their ability to think critically, and
              > to engage and question their surroundings, their culture, their
              > government, and even their religious beliefs. If they can come out on
              > the other side with deeper convictions, either those they held before
              > or new ones they have embraced, then we can say that it was all worth
              > it. The grading, the uninspired students, the incomprehensible
              > committee jargon... all of it.
              >
              > Still, it saddens us that lawmakers in Georgia find so much to object
              > about, and that they use their position as a bully pulpit. They
              > obviously don't understand that queer theory, for example, is not
              > meant as an attempt to recruit new "queers"; it is a useful tool to
              > understand society and culture from the point of view of a group that
              > has always been on the outside looking in.

              GOOD! Then I guess the signers of this letter would support the
              introduction in their institutions of a course on the history, myth
              and legends of firearms, including how firearm manufacturers methods
              of safety and quality have influenced most other manufacturing methods.

              Or how about a course on the morals, ethics and values of traditional
              Judeo/Christian faiths with a compare and contrast of other belief
              systems such as Atheism, Agnosticism, Satanism, and other non-Jewish
              and non-Christian religions.

              > We can only hope that most
              > of the students to come out of such a course would be better equipped
              > to handle themselves in a diverse world than legislators Byrd and Hill
              > are. (A cheap shot at the Ms. Byrd and Mr. Hill.)
              >
              > We support our colleagues and appreciate the freedom to share
              > knowledge, and we encourage everyone who shares these sentiments to
              > sign our online petition, available at
              > http://www.petitiononline.com/MDIA/petition.html, and/or join our
              > Facebook group at http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=55324105142
              >
              >
              > Sincerely,
              >
              > Cynara M. Medina, School of Media Arts and Studies - Ohio University
              > Dan Nelson, School of Media Arts and Studies - Ohio University
              > Mia Consalvo, School of Media Arts and Studies - Ohio University
              > Roger Cooper, School of Media Arts and Studies - Ohio University
              > Joseph Straubhaar, Department of Radio-Television-Film, University of
              > Texas at Austin
              > Janie Henderson, School of Media Arts and Studies - Ohio University
              > Will Klatt, School of Media Arts and Studies - Ohio University
              > Danielle M. Stern, Department of Communication - Christopher Newport
              > University
              > Meghan Peirce, School of Media Arts and Studies - Ohio University
              > Todd Harper, School of Media Arts and Studies - Ohio University
              > Erin L. Hill, University of Colorado - Denver
              > Victoria Wang, School of Media Arts and Studies - Ohio University
              > Yu-ping Cheng, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
              > Jill Estep, Staff - Ohio University
              > Tanja E. Bosch, Lecturer, University of Cape Town, South Africa
              > Masudul Biswas, Louisiana State University.
              > Raúl A. Mora, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
              > Laura M. Rusnak, School of Media Arts and Studies - Ohio University
              > Emily Kresiak, Department of Sociology - Ohio University
              > Tiffany Teofilo, School of Media Arts and Studies -Ohio University
              > Ann Alquist, School of Media Arts and Studies - Ohio University
              > Shane Tilton, School of Media Arts and Studies - Ohio University
              > Aarthi Rayapura, Ohio University Alumna
              > Virginia Lacayo, School of Media Arts and Studies - Ohio University
              > Tiffany Bowden, School of Media Arts and Studies - Ohio University
              > Jamie McDonald, Graduate Teaching Fellow, University of Utah
              >
              Interesting. Not a single person listed is from Georgia.




              --
              Tiffany S. Teofilo
              PhD Student
              School of Media Arts and Studies
              Ohio University
              Athens, Ohio
              tsteofilo@...
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