The long arm of your college instructor
Saying that they want to ensure that a wide range of views is heard and tolerated on college campuses, a group of state lawmakers is proposing legislation that would ask South Dakota’s six state universities to report periodically on their efforts to promote "intellectual diversity."
Rep. Phyllis Heineman, R-Sioux Falls, chairwoman of the House Education Committee and the chief sponsor of HB1222, said Wednesday that the goal is to prevent situations already seen in other states where students, speakers and faculty members have been harassed because of their views.
"This is not an indictment at all," Heineman said. "For us, it is good governance."
She said there have been no such incidents on South Dakota campuses that she is aware of and that she has heard only "anecdotal" reports.
Does it seem a bit silly to you? It shouldn't. I would say I experienced a bit of it at SDSU. Not from everyone by any means. Just from my advisor.
It wasn't overt. But when he would lecture in class, he'd bring up such things as a foible of a Republican and chuckle over it in a gloating manner. A seriously gloating manner. Was it intentional stifling of Republican thought? I don't know. But it was highly intimidating to a student who needed a passable grade in that class because it was his major. You just knew that intellectually you needed to be in lock step or you would suffer.
I contrast that with another SDSU poly sci instructor, Eleanor Schwab. Eleanor had been a long time Democrat activist, attending national conventions and the like. But from my experiences, there wasn't that air of gloating about it as my advisor had. You felt like you were ok to make your argument from your viewpoint, as long as you could back it up. And that was ok.
Is the legislation needed? I don't know. But can professors in South Dakota initimidate students and stifle intellectual freedom (in my case freedom to be an unabashed Republican) ?
You bet your life they can.