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Proposed admissions standards are anti-freedom

By Scott Tibbs, September 20, 1999

The plan to modify I.U. admissions standards outlined on the front page of the Indiana Daily Student on September 20, 1999 was an unfortunate display of how liberals over-react to problems.

The idea of restricting admission of students with a violent criminal record is a good one. But IU President Myles Brand and the IU Trustees are going way too far in proposing that people not be admitted if they have a history of "hateful" activities.

No matter how much we disagree with hate groups, to bar anyone from entering an institution for higher learning based solely on their beliefs is wrong. Indiana University is just begging to be sued here, because this plan will never survive a court challenge. In America, we have a First Amendment that guarantees freedom of speech to everyone, not just to people whose ideas we find agreeable. The IDS paraphrased Dean of Students Richard McKaig as saying " hateful activity will result in expulsion from IU". The IDS also reported that IU Trustee Ray Richardson is looking to make the Code of Student Ethics more punitive to students who distribute "hate literature". No mention was made about students' Constitutional right to distribute such literature, no matter how offensive that literature is. But hey, who cares about the First Amendment?

But who defines "hateful"? If someone opposes affirmative action, is that "hateful"? If someone has deep-rooted moral objections to homosexuality and has stated that he thinks homosexuality is a sin, is that "hateful"? Will attendance or membership at a fundamentalist Christian church disqualify someone from being admitted to IU because of that church's objections to homosexuality? And will the Indiana Daily Student be punished for unfairly stereotyping Bloomington residents as racists over their objections to a concert?

Liberals love to talk about "tolerance" and "open-mindedness", but when an idea comes along that they do not agree with, they are only too happy to impose censorship. Well, Mr. Brand, that may have been allowed in the old Soviet Union, but it won't be here. All you are doing is displaying a dangerous double standard.