In light of the recent Tim McGettigan email debacle, academic freedom has been discussed more than usual at Colorado State University-Pueblo.
Academic Freedom Day is a day where students can speak out against censorship of free speech, and it was celebrated at CSU-Pueblo on February 12, at the Fountain Plaza.
About 20 students gathered at the Fountain Plaza to rally against the CSU-Pueblo’s $3.3 million budget cuts, which have resulted in the termination of 41 staff and faculty positions.
“As a graduate student at CSU-Pueblo, I am going to support academic freedoms of my fellow graduate and undergraduate students,” said Ashley Osterhout.
Academic Freedom Day is originally known as Darwin Day, a day where students can defend the right to debate the evidence for and against Darwinian evolution.
However, in light of recent events at CSU-Pueblo, the meaning of this celebration has changed from what it was originally celebrated for.
Just before the winter 2013 break, CSU-Pueblo President Lesley Di Mare and Chancellor Michael Martin announced through email to faculty and staff reporting the university was undergoing budget issues, and therefore the university would have to cut an initial estimated 50 jobs.
A flood of events then followed this announcement, most of it involving professor Timothy McGettigan, who voiced his disdain for the jobs cuts.
McGettigan’s school computer access was deactivated after he sent an email to students, faculty and staff comparing the proposed 50 job cuts at CSU-Pueblo to the 1914 Ludlow Massacre in which the National Guard fired upon men, women and children.
“If we do not exercise our freedoms we often forget our freedoms. In the cause of always remembering and knowing my freedoms as a young scholar, today I exercised my freedom to express my ideas in college without restriction or interference during the Academic Freedom Day celebration,” Osterhout said.