Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Happy Anniversary, Free Speech Movement

This week, the University of California at Berkeley celebrates the 40th anniversary of the Free Speech Movement. A listing of events on that campus can be found here.

The L.A. Times ran a story on Friday, "Free to Be Silent at UC Berkeley," wondering where all the student activism had gone on campus. This quote, found under the heading, 'Nothing but a Cafe?' was particularly annoying:

Faculty and students say that increasingly selective admissions standards, higher costs, onerous academic workloads and a largely apolitical Asian student population are some of the reasons behind the change in campus politics.
Call me crazy, but one would think that on the 40th anniversary of an event that so starkly showed how one generation can lose touch with another, the L.A. Times would have devoted more space to highlighting the role of alternative media in promoting free speech. The article comes close, with this passage:

But Kalin McKenna, 21, a combined history and premed major from Lake Forest, said busy students had found a new way to agitate.

"There's more online activism now," said McKenna, national outreach coordinator for Mobilizing America's Youth. " A lot of people know they can get the information they need from a computer. Rather than attend a forum for an hour, they read a synopsis of the forum on the Internet that takes 30 minutes."

Not to worry. There is a web feature on the Berkeley website highlighting the role of bloggers on the Berkeley campus. It makes for good reading. The Free Speech Movement hasn't died--it evolved and lives on.

Closer to home, Dartmouth also has plenty of interesting blogs, including Rockyblog, hosted by the Rockefeller Center.

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