The University of Maryland Diamondback has a strong editorial up this morning on the college’s porn film controversy. Excerpts:

This isn’t just about state legislators and free speech. University administrators’ decision-making process last week demonstrates how little regard they have for student input. […] Administrators might persuasively argue they won’t support hate-speech events that discriminate against a religious group or an ethnic group. In the same vein, they might have argued the canceled event would have degraded women. 

But such a decision must be made in a public forum, with as wide a segment of stakeholders as can possibly be assembled. Deeming material inappropriate behind closed doors is the fast road toward truly unjust distributions of resources, and frankly, to discrimination. […]

It’s easy to devalue the precedent administrators have set in the context of a bunch of hormonal college students in a tizzy to see some skin. But what happens when federal funding for stem-cell research comes up? What happens when administrators decide whether a speaker on Israel or Palestine is engaging in hate speech? So grab your swords and muskets, mateys, because a decision this egregious can’t be quietly tolerated. It’s time to rock the boat.

The Student Power Party is still planning to hold a screening of the film and a free speech forum on campus tonight. No word yet on whether the administration will allow that event to take place.