Dayna Thompson, Alzheimer’s Resource Service IU Health Bloomington Community Health Network, will be our speaker. The meeting will be in the Frangipani Room.
This Week’s News
New members welcomed
Drew Bratton inducted two new members. Julia Merkt is a lawyer who has been a Rotarian in El Paso,Texas; Indianapolis; Carthage, Tennessee; and Chiang Mai, Thailand. She brought a flag from the Chiang Mai club. Scott J. Shackelford is an IU faculty member who is cybersecurity program chair and director of the Ostrom Workshop Program on Cybersecurity and Internet Governance. He is an affiliated scholar at both Harvard and Stanford and noted he was an Ambassadorial Scholar for Rotary from this district.
Hoosier Hills Food Bank Service project
Rotarians are needed to pack food supplies Thursday, Feb. 15, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at Hoosier Hills Food Bank, 2333 W. Industrial Park Drive, Bloomington. About 20 volunteers are needed. To volunteer, contact Liz Feitl.
The Jan. 9 program
Byron Bangert introduced our speaker, Steve Sanders, professor in the IU Maurer School of Law and, thanks to our club’s late Kent Owen, a one-time Rotary Group Study Exchange Fellow to Brazil.
Steve’s talk was about free speech on college campuses, not Brazil. The issue is topical because in recent incidents some have tried to stop speakers from offering messages unpopular to campus majorities.
He drew a distinction between people he sees as entertainers and not serious political commentators, and men and women he would consider to be more serious because of their expertise or research. He would place Charles Murray into the latter camp. Murray’s visit to IU last spring was met with protests from liberal groups who faulted his research methods and were offended by his conclusions.
Steve said free speech is such an important issue on campus because universities are seen as a “privileged and unique place in American society,” and legitimacy and independence depend upon a perception that they present a neutral forum for all kinds of speech. He said the principle of academic freedom “assumes a robust intellectual environment where ideas will rise and fall on their merits” and censorship is abhorrent.
Numerous Supreme Court decisions have addressed the free-speech-on-campus issue. One decision refers to a university’s role to promote vigorous discussion and debate about politics, government and matters of public debate. Another notes faculty members, students and institutions all have First Amendment rights.
But while the university has broad latitude to decide what speakers to invite on campus, it cannot have a policy that systematically favors a political point of view. Also, if a university provides space or money, it must be even-handed and viewpoint-neutral. For instance, it cannot charge conservative groups to use a venue but give the space to a liberal group for free.
Finally, Steve talked a bit about the violent protest in Charlottesville, Virginia. He noted IU has regulations against firearms and open flames on campus, which would have affected the protesters at the University of Virginia. He also said a university cannot deny a group the right to speak based on ideology, but it can deny the right if it feels the event will lead to violence or disruption.
Our Jan. 16 Meeting
President Mike Baker led the meeting. Kate Cruikshank was our greeter.
Tim Jessen led the Pledge of Allegiance and gave a reflection pertaining to Martin Luther King Jr. Day. He recounted the events of the day Dr. King was assassinated. Robert Kennedy was in Indianapolis for a campaign stop and wound up addressing a large crowd along with Indianapolis Mayor Richard Lugar. Kennedy, a Democrat, and Lugar, a Republican, were credited with keeping Indy from erupting in rioting that evening.
Michael Shermis introduced our guests: Jim Sims, guest of Martha Foster and Earon Davis; Gary Taylor, a visiting Rotarian from Indianapolis; Jim Capshew, a guest of Earon Davis; and Rory and Delia Bratton, guests of Drew Bratton.
John Bender, Jan. 19
Lance Eberle, 16 years
Don Colglazier, 2 years
Reporter: Bob Zaltsberg
Photographer: Charlie Osborne