pageok
pageok
pageok
Penn State Backs Down

regarding Josh Stulman's exhibit on the culture of terrorism in the Palestinian territories, as per this email letter to Ed Beck of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East:

Thank you for your note expressing concern over the proposed art exhibit. President Spanier is out of town and his schedule will make it unlikely that he can respond in a timely manner so I am responding on his behalf, but I will be sure that he sees your note. I certainly understand your concern, because there has been much confusion on this issue in the media. First, and most importantly, the "administration" does not condone censorship of artwork and had no role in this matter. Indeed, we have worked diligently with the art department to help find a way to ensure that the student has an opportunity to display his work.

On Monday the student was again notified by email and in person that the space was available for his use the rest of this week and that two people from the department were also available to help him set it up. I was informed last night that the student does not feel ready to proceed at this time and would prefer to wait until the fall. We have assured him that the University will help to facilitate the exhibit whenever he is ready.

So let me reiterate that in no way is Penn State blocking the presentation of his work because of its content.

Again, thank you for writing. We appreciate your concern over this matter.

Sincerely, Steve MacCarthy Vice President for University Relations

I like the implict acknowledgement that there was indeed content-based censorship here, contrary to the previous claim by a university spokesman that it was all about Hillel's $75 contribution for a reception. I wonder if Penn State would have ultimately been so forthcoming but for (a) the fact that they are being sued for having an unconstitutional speech code and (b) the attention the matter received on this and other blogs.

Tocqueville:
I received the same email (it's obviously a carefully crafted form letter). I must say I don't read it to be as conciliatory as you do. This sentence in particular appears rather weasly:

"On Monday the student was again notified by email and in person that the space was available for his use the rest of this week and that two people from the department were also available to help him set it up. I was informed last night that the student does not feel ready to proceed at this time and would prefer to wait until the fall. We have assured him that the University will help to facilitate the exhibit whenever he is ready."
4.26.2006 9:55am
CHARLES BEX (mail) (www):
It figures, someone sending a crafted email, not having the backbone to stop any type of freedom of speech issue. The ability for someone to paint, or do any kind of ART, is a gift from GOD. Who made any school the God of the Bill Of Rights?
4.30.2006 4:44am