In Defense of Sara Goldrick-Rab

John K. Wilson:

Sara Goldrick-Rab, a professor of educational policy and sociology at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, is under fire for tweeting to some incoming freshman an article about the budget cuts and attacks on tenure at her institution. The campus College Republicans started a campaign denouncing her tweets as “disgusting and repulsive” and declared, “The College Republicans of UW-Madison call on the University of Wisconsin-Madison to address the harassment of these future Badgers on Twitter.”

This is a disturbing reaction: engaging in a conversation or political debate on Twitter is not even remotely close to harassment. The fact that the College Republicans describe it as “harassment” (they replace this with the term “out-of-line actions” in their formal press release) indicates that they think it is deserving of punishment. We need to reject the very stupid notion that being exposed to an idea you disagree with is a form of “harassment.”