Daily Editorial Board
Last week, a nefarious college prank turned fatal when Tyler Clementi, a freshman at Rutgers University, killed himself after his roommate posted an online a video of Clementi making out with a man. Driven by shame, Clementi killed himself days later. HeâÄôs one of at least four gay youth to commit suicide within the last few weeks. The suicides are part of a tragic trend, and both the GLBT community and society need to do more to help these young men and women struggling to be comfortable with who they are find happiness.
On Monday, the Supreme Court began a new term and it looks eager to expand the scope of its misguided Citizens United decision. Many of the new cases it chose address corporate power. One of these cases in particular is ripe for a disaster on the scale of Citizens United.
President Bob Bruininks upped the ante on the âÄúTroubled WatersâÄù controversy after calling it an âÄúacademic freedomâÄù issue last week. That it is âÄî and the University of Minnesota still needs to answer questions about what exactly led to one of its ugliest public relations snafus in recent memory that has caused people inside and outside the University to question whether academic freedom is at stake. That the film premiered Sunday doesnâÄôt mean the issue should go away; the public still wants answers.
Last JanuaryâÄôs Citizens United Supreme Court decision unraveled a century of precedent by declaring that corporations and unions âÄî even foreign-controlled ones âÄî have a First Amendment right to unrestricted, anonymous campaign spending on American elections. It should give us great pause that President Barack Obama, who has hardly been harsh with corporate America, warns that the Citizens United decision is an inroad to a âÄúcorporate takeover of our democracy.âÄù
In policy, gubernatorial candidate Tom Horner, an Independent, is trying to split the difference between Republicans and Democrats, and higher education is no exception. HornerâÄôs plan calls for $30 million more for research funding for Minnesota state colleges and universities but no other additional funding. This is a good first step forward âÄî research is a fundamental part of the University of MinnesotaâÄôs mission and any additional funding for it is beneficial.