While David Horowitz's Student Bill of Rights is a false solution, is there a sense in which it grasps a real problem? While all the data shows that student intellectual freedoms aren't foreclosed from the Left, undergraduate curricular choice may be foreclosed in advance by the forces served by the political Right, in a kind of economic conscription that frames student choice within the scaffold of the business curriculum.
If faculty and student intellectual freedoms are interrelated in key ways, it is simply difficult to imagine that undergraduate intellectual freedom could be perfectly secure when the faculty's is not. As administrations struggle to supplant traditional faculty values and practices with “market-smart” and entrepreneurial arrangements, we should be exploring the senses in which the intellectual freedom of the undergraduate may be under similar attacks by similar forces.
With the active involvement of corporate partners, administrations are striving to commercialize, vocationalize, and militarize both curriculum and student culture itself. Furthermore, the role of higher education in sharply intensified exploitation means that we have to ask the same question of most students that we ask of faculty and graduate students: to what extent does the structured precariousness of their existence affect the very possibility of their exercising academic freedom irrespective of any formal guarantees?