The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

84° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    “Fighting fire with … nothing: Horowitz off the mark, but so is GPSC”

    In case you missed it, there’s been a minor squabble on campus. A prominent journalist recently attacked members of the UA faculty for imposing their views on students. No need to worry, though: The Graduate and Professional Student Council passed a resolution condemning the affair.

    Small wonder so many students see the GPSC as useless.

    Friday, the Arizona Daily Wildcat reported that David Horowitz, a conservative journalist and commentator, had published an article entitled “”Abusive Academics: The University of Arizona,”” a lengthy diatribe against the “”political indoctrination”” that occurs here at the UA.

    Horowitz’s article is nothing new; political operatives on the right have long claimed that universities are bastions of unchecked liberalism. But Horowitz’s screed at least allows for some interesting insights – namely, that his ideology seems to contradict the basic tenets of conservatism.

    The fundamental premise of conservatism, after all, is that individual responsibility trumps government intervention. Likewise, the most prominent archetype of conservatism is the rugged, do-it-yourself individual who knows better than senseless Washington bureaucrats.

    But when Horowitz complains about the intellectual tyranny of UA professors and suggests that the solution is to impose government regulations to protect vulnerable, helpless students, he seems to abandon both of those principles.

    All of this would seem to suggest that Horowitz’s article is an easy target for students and professors alike, but the GPSC seems to have missed that boat. In response to Horowitz’s article, the GPSC passed a resolution that endorses the free exchange of ideas in an academic environment.

    Jeff Larson, one of the graduate students Horowitz attacked in his article, told the Wildcat he hopes “”the resolution influences the faculty senate, the administration and the (Arizona) board of regents to speak out and to respond to Horowitz’s article.””

    A resolution? Horowitz attacked academic freedom generally, several UA faculty personally and the GPSC’s response is to pass a resolution?

    Beyond the fact that a resolution has about as much effect as screen doors on a submarine, the GPSC’s move seems shortsighted at best and downright cowardly at worst.

    Passing a resolution within an internal body does nothing but vindicate Horowitz’s charges of insularity and arrogance. More importantly, a vague endorsement of the “”free exchange of ideas”” does little to refute Horowitz’s rather dangerous suggestions.

    Instead of encouraging the administration and the board of regents to act, the GPSC should be taking action: Publish a rebuttal. Write an op-ed. Do something.

    This isn’t the first time a conservative commentator will denigrate academia, and it certainly won’t be the last until academics learn to respond forcefully and meaningfully. Until then, they will remain easy targets for those that seek to label them “”abusive academics.””

    Opinions Board
    Editorials are determined by the Wildcat opinions board and written by one of its members. They are Justyn Dillingham, Allison Hornick, Damion LeeNatali, Stan Molever, Nicole Santa Cruz and Matt Stone.

    More to Discover
    Activate Search