Alan Moore, Broadside Correspondent

Since coming to George Mason University, I have been shocked and appalled at the number of professors who are more concerned with pushing their own political agenda than actually teaching. I have had to bear professors lobbying for a variety of political ideological rants ranging from Christopher Columbus accomplishing nothing more than being a bigoted murderer to Rush Limbaugh perpetuating a fantasy system of lies and falsehoods. I also can’t seem to get through a class without hearing about how man irrefutably aids global warming. Quite frankly, I’m sick of it.

Let me be clear on this next point: If you subscribe to such beliefs, then that is fine with me, I do not really care in the slightest. I might think you’re a radical leftist, but if that is what you want to believe, then so be it. We can both think whatever we want. However, the line must absolutely be drawn when you walk into the classroom.

Professors in their ivory towers love to push their ideological values on their students because students fear that speaking up will place them in their bad graces. After all, we are all here to earn a college degree and in many cases it is better to just bite our tongues rather than risking an adverse grade.

Coincidentally, I don’t expect to earn any friends in the academic community with this article, but I can’t remain silent on this anymore.

It needs to be noted that professors do not have the right to mark you down based on your political persuasions. The American Association of University Professors states, “Student performance should be evaluated solely on an academic basis, not on opinions or conduct in matters unrelated to academic standards.”

It is downright sad that professors cannot get people in the real world to subscribe to their political beliefs so they feel they must indoctrinate their students because they have no other choice than to listen. If you are a professor who is more interested in pushing your liberal ideology than teaching, then please resign and go write for “Daily Kos” or some other leftist outlet.

I’m absolutely not advocating that professors push conservative ideology in the classroom. I think the classroom should be politically neutral unless the subject of the class pertains to such topics. In that case, professors have a duty to show both sides of an argument and let students decide for themselves.

Taking cheap shots at Rush Limbaugh does nothing to further the knowledge base of students.

The problem with our academic system is that there is no accountability. Professors are protected under the First Amendment to say whatever they want in the classroom. Legal? Yes. Ethical? Absolutely not. It’s legal to shout racial slurs, but that doesn’t make it right. The AAUP also states that “Teachers are entitled to freedom in the classroom in discussing their subject, but they should be careful not to introduce into their teaching controversial matter which has no relation to their subject.”

The AAUP even admits that a professor’s “primary responsibility to their subject is to seek and to state the truth as they see it.” That certainly leaves it open to interpretation. When it comes to politics, there are no official guidelines, but perhaps there should be.

The only existing university policy regarding this issue states that “University resources may not be used in the conduct of political activities nor may they be used to otherwise enhance participation in such activities except for use of meeting space for University approved activities.”

Promoting your political beliefs certainly falls under the category of enhanced participation in political activities and it is not a university-approved activity during class time in my opinion.

There needs to be a number of solutions to these problems. First, the university non-discrimination policy does not include anything regarding political affiliation; it absolutely should to further protect students from overzealous professors. Second, every professor at Mason should sign an agreement of understanding that it is considered unethical to promote political ideology in a classroom if it has nothing to do with the curriculum.

Third, any complaints from students should be investigated and, if found to have merit, the professors should be reprimanded. Lastly, professors who subscribe to this kind of behavior need to grow up and stop acting like children on a playground when they are in the classroom.

I believe that adopting these measures would certainly be a great start to making Mason a fair and more credible institution of higher learning. The time to do this is right now.