Issue 94, Summer 2004
Off With His Head?
Item 3: The FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force subpoenaed Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, in February to obtain records of the university chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, after the chapter sponsored an antiwar conference, Stop the Occupation! Bring the Iowa Guard Home! Expressions of widespread outrage forced the withdrawal of the subpoenas. (Censorship News 93). The Guild has requested Congressional hearings into FBI investigations of campus political activities.
Item 4: For two summers in a row, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill weathered criticism of its reading assignments for incoming students. First, UNC faculty chose Approaching the Qur’an, and the following year it selected Barbara Ehrenreich’s Nickel and Dimed. Both elicited protest—albeit for different reasons—and embroiled the University in controversy, including a law suit, in which UNC ultimately prevailed. This year’s summer reading assignment is David Lipsky’s Absolutely American, which follows cadets at West Point—undoubtedly an engaging book, but query why it was selected. Did UNC decide to play it safe? Are other schools doing so?