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Faculty desrve freedom to take political action

As students strolled the Pedestrian Mall last week, many wondered why the clotheslines lining the walkway were empty.

For the past 14 years, the Clothesline Project, which exists to raise awareness about domestic violence, had placed T-shirts with symbolic messages on the mall.

This year, instead, all that hung from the string was an explanation of the Board Of Regents policy.

Conflict of interest was the culprit.

The professor who organized the project did not feel safe continuing the project under circumstances of the current policy.

Under the University System of Georgia’s rules, as we understand them, professors here at VSU are free from institutional censorship and discipline.

Whether projects such as the clothesline project are outlawed, it is under the perception of the VSU community that harsh consequences could result from political stances being made.

The foundation at which the Women’s and Gender Studies program is built upon is political actions and informing students of important issues such as the clothesline project.

If an entire department cannot carry out their mission of political activism through its faculty and students, what’s next?

There are many other departments that focus on social and political issues outside and inside the community of Valdosta. This is a matter that should be formally addressed by administration. At this point, clear and concise parameters have not been set.

As students of this institution, we look to those above us such as professors to provide us with valuable information and opportunities to shape our outlook on life, the environment and ethics. By causing unrest within the departments students are losing opportunities to take an unfiltered stance.

The editors at The Spectator believe that all faculty at VSU have the right to display and support political issues in the best interest of their students and the university. This benefits the student body and informs the community of a wide range of issues.

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2 comments

  1. Well, there we have it. The VSU faculty in the said program (and other programs, no doubt) are political activists and they are here to shape the minds of their students. By definition, political activism is not an impartial activity. Therefore, you should not expect an impartial education and impartial training from political activist(s), such as the VSU faculty in question here. This is straightforward logic.

    So, really, I am curious: Why “educate” students with material which is motivated by political activism? Is the VSU faculty in question not confident that students will naturally come to their point of view, if they are left alone with just the facts? Hmmm …

    • Faculty are humans and citizens with human and citizen’s right. Surely they cannot be stripped that right just because they have a job todo at VSU.

      You can regulate the space available on campus for various activities, but you can NOT tell what others should do in their own capacity. Just like NOBODY tells you what you can or can not do as an individual.

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