UCLAProfs.com: today’s witch-hunt

College students, not political organizations, should be expected to debate professors.

To walk into a class thinking the professor will not share parts of their thoughts or lives is an unrealistic expectation. Efforts to place a chill in vocal college professors sparked by radical-turned-conservative David Horowitz are making some headway across the United States. Sadly, recent efforts are more of a witch-hunt than a genuine effort to create tolerance in classrooms.

The Bruin Alumni Association, an unofficial alumni association at UCLA, has established a program called UCLAProfs.com to gather documentation that will profile and expose professors the group thinks use significant amounts of class time expressing their political opinions. Targets include professors with strong liberal views and ones they claim to be anti-Semitic. They are asking present and past students to tip them off to professors, and offer these students $100 compensation depending on the amount of information they bring to the table.

Students are submitting detailed lecture notes and recorded lectures. The group has gathered a list of “The Dirty Thirty” who represent, in their opinion, the worst cases at the university.

How patronizing. Cannot students be expected to walk into a classroom and challenge professors rather than be coerced by $100 bounty? Cannot professors, who have chosen to spend their lives in study, be expected to draw their own lines of tolerance? From fields in communication, medicine and clothing design, professors will and should be able to share their own thoughts.

Professors, no matter what political ideology, should be allowed to express their ideas and opinions freely. We all are adults after all. If students have a problem, wouldn’t talking face to face with the professor be a better solution than cowardly sniping for Web sites and aiming for $100 bonuses?