ACLU's Penn State Chapter Launches Action Website in Response to Campus Censorship Threats

March 12, 2001 12:00 am

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UNIVERSITY PARK, PA — Responding to recent attacks on students’ free speech rights by a few state legislators, the Pennsylvania State University chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union has launched a web site which allows students to urge their elected officials to fight censorship at Penn State.

The message sent to the legislators informs them of recent censorship issues at Penn State and asks them to take a leadership role in defending freedom of expression at the university.

“It took just one student contacting his state legislator to start the calls for censorship,” said ACLU Penn State chapter coordinator Brian Ecker. “Let’s tell Harrisburg that the rest of the Penn State community doesn’t believe in censorship.”

Free speech came under fire last year when one student wrote his state legislator to complain about a student event titled, “CuntFest.” The event, which focused on female empowerment, was titled after a book of a similar name by feminist author Inga Muscio.

The state legislator found the message of the event personally objectionable. It has been reported that the legislator is threatening to withhold state appropriations to Penn State unless assurances are made by university officials to censor similar forms of speech in the future.

Visitors to the Penn State ACLU website can enter their personal information and will be provided with the names and addresses of their legislators. They are offered the options of sending a message directly to their legislators or printing a message that they can mail to their legislators.

The website is online at http//

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