Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Thursday, April 03, 2008

"WSU investigating 'architorture' protest; Demonstration organized by architecture prof causes concern among administrators, community members"

Rush has got "Operation Chaos." What should we call this?

Last week, I urged Palousitics readers to e-mail WSU president Elson Floyd about architecture professor Ayad Rahmani's "architorture" protest on Bishop Blvd. Apparently, we got results!!

That makes two victories this week, along with Ed Weber's proposal for more intellectual diversity at WSU. Let's keep up the pressure and take our campus and our town back from the academic extremists!!

From today's Moscow-Pullman Daily News:
Washington State University administrators are investigating a professor's conduct following a protest in Pullman last week.

Ken Vreeland, special assistant to the provost and executive vice president, said his office has received several e-mails from community members concerned about architecture professor Ayad Rahmani's role in a March 27 protest with more than 100 of his students on Bishop Boulevard.

"We are aware of the concerns and are reviewing them," Vreeland said.

Rahmani encouraged students in his sophomore-level architecture class to protest the lack of continuity, planning and design along the boulevard. He said the protest was relevant to the course work, which studies the built environment and includes buildings, infrastructure, sustainability and design elements and how they create a community.

Students carried signs that read "Stop Architorture in Pullman" and "The Show Starts on the Sidewalk" in the protest, which took place during a regularly scheduled class period. Participation in the protest was optional for the 200 students enrolled in the class. Credit was given to students who protested, as well as those who didn't as long as they justified their position in writing.

Rahmani said the protest was intended to pinpoint city planning issues "respectfully, not controversially."

"I made it clear to the students that this is a democratic option. This is not something that they have to do," he said. "I told them that, but I did say, 'I would like you to do it, to show the principles of the class.' I thought I really needed to do something to show the students what I'm talking about."

Vreeland said many WSU classes expect students to participate in community service or interdisciplinary learning projects.

"We encourage that ... but we expect that they're inclusive of different views and use sound education practices," he said

Vreeland said he is in the information-gathering stage of the investigation, collecting facts about the protest and the course work itself. Rahmani eventually will be interviewed, though no reprimand is expected at this time.

"It would be premature to say we're taking any action against the instructor," Vreeland said. "Right now, we're going to take a look at what we can learn from this."

Rahmani said he's not aware of any concern that has surfaced in the community.

"I think I did everything according to the rules," he said. "I may have done something new, but as a teaching method I think it was significant. It got students to talk and ask questions that weren't there before."

In Rahmani's opinion, the protest was a success if the community still is talking about it one week later.

"Obviously, that's why I did it," he said. "I wanted the students to perk up ... but also the community and the developers to know that people do care and it's important to do something about it."
The only thing that it is important to "do something about" is you Professor Rahmani. Hopefully after this, no other WSU professors will be tempted to take their liberal fascist agenda to the streets of Pullman at taxpayer expense.


Scott M. said...

Tom, in my 30 plus years as a Pullman resident I have never seen anything like this before. Thank you for this web site.

I wonder again why didn't the Daily News didn't mention you in this article?

Tom Forbes said...

Thanks! But results, not ratings, are all I care about.