To the Editors:
American colleges and universities have long been regarded as bastions of free speech and free thinking, Oberlin College included. Throughout the school’s almost 200-year history, Oberlin students have been celebrated for speaking against political, religious and cultural persecution, and to this day school administrators present the College as a stronghold of unrestricted inquiry that furthers core democratic values. Despite this reputation, America’s colleges and universities often maintain illiberal and unconstitutional policies that deny these same fundamental rights to students and faculty. To ensure that Oberlin College policies do not escape scrutiny and that students and faculty remain vigilant against these threats, the OC Republicans and Libertarians have sponsored a lecture by Greg Lukianoff, president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education.
Lukianoff will speak this Thursday in West Lecture Hall, located in the first floor of the science center. Titled “Individual Rights in Higher Education,” his lecture will begin at 7 p.m. followed by a question and answer period. The lecture is free and will be open to the public. A special invitation is extended to those administrators involved in student regulations, policies, and judicial procedures.
The FIRE was founded in 1998 by Alan Charles Kors and Harvey A. Silverglate after the two co-authored The Shadow University: The Betrayal of Liberty on America's Campuses. Following the book’s publication, Kors and Silvergate received so many calls for help from victims whose rights were violated by their respective schools’ illiberal policies that they founded the educational non-profit in Philadelphia. Today, the FIRE has defended hundreds of students and faculty in liberty-related issues at institutions of higher education throughout the nation. According to its mission statement, FIRE “protects the unprotected and educates the public about the threats to these rights on our campuses and about the means to preserve them.”
Lukianoff has been with the FIRE since 2001, when he was hired as the foundation's first director of legal and public advocacy. A member of the State Bar of California and the bar of the Supreme Court of the United States, Lukianoff has published articles in The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, the New York Post, The Stanford Technology Law Review, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Fraternal Law, Inside Higher Ed, Reason, and Free Inquiry, among numerous other publications. A frequent guest of local and national syndicated radio and television programs, Lukianoff has represented the FIRE on CBS Evening News, The O'Reilly Factor, MSNBC's Dr. Nancy, Glenn Beck, The Abrams Report, Hannity and Colmes, and Buchanan and Press. He has testified on the subject of free speech issues on America's campuses before the U.S. Senate and was a recipient of the 2008 Playboy Foundation Freedom of Expression Award, as well as the Ford Hall Forum's Louis P. and Evelyn Smith First Amendment Award in 2010.
For event questions or further information, please contact president of the OC Republican’s and Libertarians, Brad Hantler at firstname.lastname@example.org or (248)-202-9633.
–James Kuntz College Junior