Ruth Malhotra of Campus Watch Receives American Conservative Union’s Highest Award

March 13, 2009, 4:53 pm


PHILADELPHIA — The Middle East Forum is proud to announce that Ruth Malhotra, Campus Watch Research Assistant at the Middle East Forum, is the 2009 co-recipient of the Ronald Reagan Award from the American Conservative Union, the highest award given by the ACU.

The award honors a conservative activist who best exemplifies the Reagan spirit of outstanding achievement and selfless contributions to the advancement of liberty. Presented on February 27, 2009 at the 36th annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), it includes a $10,000 cash stipend.

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Malhotra and her co-recipient Orit Sklar were honored for their efforts to advance academic freedom in higher education, and specifically for their work at the Georgia Institute of Technology fighting for free speech and religious liberty.

During her time at Georgia Tech, from which she earned her B.A. and M.A., Malhotra faced a pattern of censorship by the Institute as speech codes and other unconstitutional policies were used repeatedly against her and her organizations. In 2006, Malhotra and Sklar filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against Georgia Tech to challenge unconstitutional policies that supported censorship and the suppression of students’ rights. In a series of precedent-setting victories, their case prompted Georgia Tech to repeal its speech code, alter its unconstitutional “speech zone,” and eliminate the unconstitutional portion of its “Safe Space” program.

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Commenting on the award, Ruth Malhotra said, “It was our love of liberty and our love for Georgia Tech that compelled us to take this stand, so that every student’s rights to free speech and religious liberty would be protected. The problems in academia are vast, and we’ve made some progress in confronting these challenges. But there is still much work to be done.”

Middle East Forum director Daniel Pipes added, “Ruth is an extraordinary person who continues the fight for academic freedom she began as a student through her work at Campus Watch. We are extremely proud of her for winning this prestigious award and for the work she does each day to combat the politicization of higher education.”

Immediate release

For more information, contact Amy Shargel at
215-546-5406, ex. 22

*Middle East Forum
March 13, 2009
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Related: Academia, Free Speech, Philosophy / Ideology

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