Phi Beta Cons

Columbia U. Dithers

Forty-eight days and still counting.

That, as a New York Post editorial points out, is how long it has been since the university’s Republican Club sponsored Jim Gilchrist, founder of the anti-illegal-immigration Minuteman Project. In a stunning abuse of academic freedom and free speech, campus toughs rushed the podium and physically attacked him.
So far Columbia President (and First Amendment scholar) Lee Bollinger’s vaunted “investigation” of this attack has yielded…dead silence: no apology to Gilchrist and the others on stage whose rights were trashed, nor any punishment of the perpetrators.
Bollinger, it would appear, has other fish to fry. Perhaps he is too busy pressing Columbia’s plans to enlarge its campus, annexing surrounding neighborhoods in the process, to bother with holding the campus’ brownshirts to account. The Post rightly concludes:

If Bollinger can’t – or, worse, won’t – come expeditiously to terms with the young thugs roaming his campus, then it’s fair to ask whether Columbia ought to be permitted to expand at all. If Columbia no longer holds freedom of speech in the highest regard, its neighbors surely can be forgiven for wondering if the university can be trusted on more mundane matters.

Candace de Russy — Candace de Russy is a nationally recognized expert on education and cultural issues.

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