Free to be you and me

The academic-freedom panel discussion-formerly known to some as “Banned at BYU”-will take place tonight at 7 p.m. in the Union Ballroom, after what was surely a wise name change on the part of ASUU.

The panel, which was originally scheduled for September, was postponed because of concerns over whether the title and subject matter would offend people in the community and make it difficult for the school to lobby the Utah State Legislature for funding.

Some would look at the seemingly logistical moves made by the Associated Students of the University of Utah as a cowardly form of crippling under pressure to please “the man,” but the decisions to postpone, broaden the panelist pool and change the name of the event were all very good moves by ASUU on behalf of the students.

First, yes, changing the name is sort of catering to the powers that be, but this school needs the support of the Legislature. Without it, the U would receive minimal funding, making it impossible to keep tuition rates down, which would in turn lower enrollment, making it impossible for people without enough money to go to school, thereby inhibiting the spread of education that our community so dearly needs.

It is an exorbitant chain of events to have to look at when considering the name of an event, but it is also necessary.

Additionally, the postponement of this event was the best thing that could have ever happened to it.

BYU is just too easy a target to belittle by exploiting a panel made of BYU professors who have been fired.

Of course professors get fired there-it’s a private religious/educational institution. The private and religious facets of their institution make it apparent to students there that they’re getting a side of God with their biology.

In the time between the original date for the panel and now, a couple of panelists have been added from the U, which will make it less likely that the panel will juvenilely drone on about the school down south and how closed-minded they are.

In the end, ASUU walked the line with this event, and that is a good thing. They didn’t cancel it outright, nor did they try to go all out with the anti-BYU message that would have likely offended a large group of people-they chose to do what would result in the greatest good for the greatest number of people.

Students still get their panel, only now it’s better because it avoids a likely bias by involving more people.

In addition, the students get to keep a few good allies they probably weren’t aware of because, instead of being offensive, ASUU decided to err on the side of caution.