Universities: the vanguard of free speech and expression. Reason:
After everyone from the Chicago Tribune to the Daily Mail in Britain picked up this story, the dancers were made to apologize for “any offence we may have caused.” Then the university itself issued an apologetic statement in which it said the costumes were indeed “inappropriate” (even though no one seems to have thought so when the dance was being performed) and assured Hickey that “they would not be worn again.” The dance routine would effectively be erased from history.
As if that wasn’t apologetic enough, as if desperate to prove that it was truly, abjectly sorry for allowing some of its students to dance as they saw fit, RMU went so far as to rewrite some of its fundamental rules. From now on, the university declared, dance troupes will have far less leeway to choose their own costumes—instead all outfits will have to be approved by the school itself and submitted to the same committee that okays the uniforms of sports teams.
The frizzy-haired dancers explained that they were tired of routines that aimed only to “look pretty and act sunny” and had wanted to do something more challenging, in keeping with the fact that dance is “a form of art and a great outlet of expression.” Now, with an Orwellian-style costume committee that will no doubt be more interested in preserving RMU’s reputation in the eyes of super-sensitive bloggers than in guaranteeing students’ right to free expression, what student will ever aim to go beyond “sunny and pretty” and do something a little edgier?
Only academics can rationalize the use of censorship as free expression.
2011-04-15 » madlibertarianguy