Every day, I am more amazed that I got through my formal education without being suspended, expelled or arrested.
From the New York Times:
At 10:30 a.m. on Monday, Amal Clooney walked into Classroom 103 in William and June Warren Hall at Columbia Law School. The human rights lawyer and wife of the actor George Clooney …was by herself, far from the tangle of paparazzi who gather outside the Carlyle hotel, where the couple are staying while Mr. Clooney is in town making “Money Monster,” a film directed by Jodie Foster and co-starring Julia Roberts. Ms. Clooney, 37, greeted a man preparing slides for the class in human rights for which she is a guest lecturer this spring. As she spoke, passers-by peeked at her through the sliver of glass in the door. If anyone had thoughts to share about Ms. Clooney, they weren’t talking.
“We are under strict orders not to discuss her or anything about her class,” said a student who declined to give her name. A representative from the law school politely asked a reporter to leave.
What? WHAT? Columbia University can’t “order” students not to talk about a professor! How did they get the idea that they could, or that it was appropriate to try? Of course, Columbia of late has shown less than a sterling respect for the values of academic freedom and the Bill of Rights. Still, this is pure abuse of power.
WHAT? What kind of jello-spined, ignorant, submissive worm are they admitting to Columbia who would accept such outrageous “strict orders”? [ Well, we do have some strong indications…] I couldn’t care less about Ms. Clooney, but if my law school said that to me, I’d hold a press conference.
WHAT? Why does this woman, who voluntarily thrust herself into the limelight, warrant special privileges that justify restricting a law school’s students right to talk about anything they want to?
University classes have been taught for more than a century by men and women with far more impressive accomplishments and greater fame than Amal Clooney. Shouldn’t Columbia be combating celebrity culture rather than catering to it?
Any students who meekly accept such restrictions on their speech and autonomy are too craven to be trusted to practice law, and no institution that would demand such restrictions should be trusted to teach them.
Pointer: Above the Law
Facts: New York Times