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Being One of Said's Students: An Observation

Reader comment on item: Redeeming the Wayward University [through Engagement by Outsiders]
in response to reader comment: Redeeming the wayward Univesity : an observation

Submitted by Law Student (United States), Nov 7, 2007 at 12:57

I am currently in Wadie Said's Criminal Law class, and I'd like to say something in support of him.

Everyone was worried about USC hiring him as a professor this year because they were worried he was going to incite the student body and his students to think a certain way. I've been in his class now for three months, and he has not said ANYTHING remotely political to us. In fact, he stays firmly neutral on all of the issues we are discussing in class (which includes, from time to time, terrorism, murder and what differentiates the two).

He asks us questions about the materials we were assigned to read from our casebook; he leads discussions about the cases; and he is always polite and often funny. I did not even know about Professor Said's past until some fellow students and I were randomly googling each of our teachers' names in between classes. Professor Said does not seem as if he is trying to promote any political agenda at the law school. On the contrary, he is mild-mannered and sort of quiet, and he does not bring up much, if anything about his past. He has never mentioned his father, his political views or his background before joining the faculty at USC. In fact, the only thing I actually knew about Professor Said before googling him was that he had lived in California at some point in his life prior to August 2007, and he had worked as a defense attorney on a terrorism case. That's it. The terrorism case he worked on was actually in our textbook, and we discussed it today in class. He did not mention that it was the same terrorism case he had worked on--I found that out later. In fact, he went so far as to say, "I worked on a case LIKE this one, and such-and-such happened..." To me, if he had a political agenda that he wanted to force on us, he would have had plenty of opportunities to do so.

I think it's ridiculous that people criticize him for what he "might" do, rather than look at what he is currently doing in his classroom. I don't think that he should be punished or harassed for any personal beliefs he might have as long as they do not interfere with his teaching. He may have his faults as a professor, but forcing his own personal beliefs on his students is not one of them.

Submitting....

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Reader comments (43) on this item

Title Commenter Date Thread
Redeeming the wayward Univesity : an observation [297 words]Jaisingh ThakurJul 20, 2007 01:36104099
Being One of Said's Students: An Observation [414 words]Law StudentNov 7, 2007 12:57104099
A slightly different view [310 words]ClassmateNov 25, 2007 22:26104099
Wadie Said [1 words]Worried About Wayne State University Law SchoolFeb 5, 2007 13:4376105
This is what happens when University administration are asleep at the wheel [349 words]Big MistakeFeb 14, 2007 19:1176105
Prof. Said [265 words]Classmate (2)Nov 28, 2007 10:5576105
Prof. Said [147 words]Student (1)Dec 1, 2007 21:5876105
Require Disclosure of Funding Sources in Academia [204 words]James VesceDec 18, 2006 10:5869857
Campus Watch and freedom of expression [135 words]OctavioDec 12, 2006 08:3269238
University is a Waste of Time [55 words]LanceDec 4, 2006 20:2468279
Exploration is the essence of education [318 words]Stephen ConnorDec 3, 2006 10:4068123
Are university professors and administrators listening? [36 words]JaladhiDec 1, 2006 12:0467960
Reply to Jaladhi [122 words]PreetDec 2, 2006 09:5067960
Don't copy Europe! [122 words]concernedDec 1, 2006 03:0967932
Zero Tolerance for Traitors in USA : Kick them out to Arabian Deserts or to Guantanamo Bay [71 words]SumoNov 30, 2006 12:0867869
libs [40 words]KathyNov 8, 2007 10:0067869
Stop Islamist propaganda in the Universities because its an deliberate attempt to brainwash gullible westerners [136 words]Bejan DaruwalaNov 30, 2006 08:1867836
to bejan [42 words]gary rovnerDec 5, 2006 18:0067836
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tenure/search committees' priorities [105 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
joyce parkerNov 29, 2006 12:4367747
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Dear Mr. Pipes: [57 words]Dannel R. BallesterosNov 28, 2006 18:3767630
Public Opinions of Academics [572 words]S RalstonNov 28, 2006 15:5267595
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Clear thinking [111 words]Charles StewartNov 30, 2006 10:0567595
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View of University Professors [117 words]Gunther SchiffNov 28, 2006 14:2067574
Wadie Said [387 words]Worried About Wayne State University Law SchoolNov 28, 2006 12:1767569
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question [20 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
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USC Law School hiring controversial professor [358 words]Charlene MartelFeb 14, 2007 09:0567553

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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