Colorado Senator is taking action to protect Christian college students in his state who are discriminated against for their beliefs.
State Senator John Andrews has sent a letter to the leaders of Colorado's 29 public colleges and universities starting by inquiring whether the state's public educational institutions have policies in place to protect academic freedom on their campuses.
He asked the schools to inform the state legislature of the policies that protect students from receiving any prejudice because of their political or religious beliefs and of how they are dealing with discriminations imposed on the students for their beliefs. He also asked school presidents to describe what steps they are taking to promote intellectual diversity in the classroom and in departmental recruiting.
The letter will help lawmakers determine whether legislative action is necessary for the students who have received any discrimination for what they belief, if theres any.
Andrew says, "I think it's simply human behavior that will operate unless you have safeguards against such behavior, and I'm asking the universities to tell me what safeguards they already have."
"If we find that there are gaps in the protection [schools are providing], then we may need a state law that asks all the universities to uphold the same standard on academic freedom," he says.
Andrews notes that the letter has generated support from both sides of the political standpoints. According to Andrew, a leading Democratic senator who teaches political science part-time at an urban college in Denver agrees with him that the problem is real and needs to be addressed.
"In fact, that senator is the one who suggested to me that we should particularly look at giving students an opportunity to use anonymous faculty evaluations to the attention of administrators," Andrews says.