Less than a week after former NFL star and University of Maryland alumnus Boomer Esiason threatened to cut off his support for the school over the cancelation of screenings of the film American Sniper on campus, the school confirmed a new screening of the movie has been scheduled.
Boomer wasn't the only one upset with the cancelation. University of Maryland's president, Wallace Loh, talked about some of the backlash the school faced in a letter to students, NBC Washington reported.
That cancellation drew controversy. "We were deluged by phone calls and messages from across the country, almost unanimously outraged by the cancellation or postponement," said Maryland President Wallace D. Loh in a letter to students. "Members of our faculty, staff, students and alumni, as well as members of our state's legislature, voiced their dismay with UMD's abridgment of this constitutional right.
"Perhaps most disheartening, MSA's Facebook page was filled with some of the most venomous, racist, and hateful messages imaginable," Loh wrote in the letter, which was posted on the university's website Tuesday.
Now, two student groups — College Republicans and College Democrats — are working together to screen the film Monday at 6 p.m. in Hoff Theater. They will also convene a panel discussion of the film afterward.
Loh said the university is dedicated to discussing all ideas and not suppressing them.
It is "a fundamental commitment of any university is to the principle that ideas and opinions that any of us might oppose or find unwelcome or even offensive should be openly and vigorously discussed, not suppressed," Loh wrote. "It is also the responsibility of a university to nurture–via education and outreach–an ethos of civility, inclusion, and mutual respect."