Tag: campus censorship

FIRE’s 2021 College Free Speech Rankings Find Increased Student Support for Censorship

 

Last week, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), working alongside College Pulse and RealClearEducation, published the second rendition of our College Free Speech Rankings. Among the takeaways? Prospective college students who want a college with a strong culture of free expression should consider Claremont McKenna College or the University of Chicago, which come first and second (with CMC taking the top spot held by UChicago last year). By that same token, they might want to think twice about DePauw University, which finishes last for the second consecutive year.

When we published our first edition of the rankings last year, the nearly 20,000 students at 55 institutions made it the largest survey of college student attitudes on free speech ever conducted. Nowhere to go from there but down? Nonsense. This year, we surveyed nearly triple the number of schools (159) and nearly double the number of students (over 37,000). The report takes into account the varied dimensions of free expression on campus, including the ability to discuss challenging topics like race, gender dynamics, and geopolitical conflicts; whether students hold back from openly sharing their views; and official campus speech policies.

The rankings found that more than 80% of students report self-censoring their viewpoints at their colleges at least some of the time, with 21% saying they censor themselves often. Only a third of students say that their college administration makes it either very or extremely clear that it will protect free speech on campus. What’s more, some illiberal streaks among the student population seem to be trending in the wrong direction. For instance, 66% reported some level of acceptance for speaker shout-downs (up 4 percentage points from FIRE’s 2020 report), and 23% agreed that it’s acceptable for people to use violence to stop certain speech (up 5 percentage points). Additionally, students generally showed much greater intolerance for campus speakers with conservative positions.

Heather Mac Donald joins Brian Anderson to discuss how academic institutions responded to the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and how academia’s monolithic belief in systemic racism has fueled recent riots across the United States. She also answers questions from a livestream audience.

Audio for this episode is excerpted and edited from a Manhattan Institute eventcast, “Fearless Thinking in an Age of Conformity.” Find out more and register for future events by visiting our website, and subscribe to MI’s YouTube channel.

Robby Soave, senior editor at Reason magazine, author of 2019’s Panic Attack: Young Radicals in the Age of Trump, and someone who is (just) over 30, (finally) joins Young Americans to discuss whether the political activism of young people today, especially on campus, is uniquely dangerous and poised to spill out into the culture as a whole. (Also, some LOST references sneak in.)

Students at Williams College Demand Freedom from Speech

 

Students at Williams College in Massachusetts are angry. According to a petition (PDF) signed by hundreds of students, the faculty is urging the college to enact “reckless and dangerous policies” that will “imperil marginalized students,” and amount to “discursive violence.”

What awful set of policies could Williams College faculty possibly be considering?

It is a version of the policy known as the “Chicago Statement.” Created in 2015 by a committee led by legal scholar Geoffrey Stone at the University of Chicago, the statement “recommit[s] the university to the principles of free, robust, and uninhibited debate.” It explicitly reminds students and faculty on campus that they have a “responsibility for maintaining a climate of mutual respect,” and that “concerns about civility and mutual respect can never be used as a justification for closing off discussion of ideas, however offensive or disagreeable those ideas may be.” The policies that accompany these principles not only protect political expression, but also prevent university administrators from restricting public expression to tiny areas of campus. Often misleadingly called “free speech zones.” This is a distressingly common practice at many universities, and it limits not just political speech but expression of all kinds.

Heather Mac Donald and Frank Furedi discuss the hostility to free speech that has provoked disturbing incidents on campuses across the country and the ideology behind safe spaces, micro-aggressions, and trigger warnings. Their discussion, from a Manhattan Institute event held in June 2017, was moderated by City Journal contributing editor Howard Husock.

American universities are experiencing a profound cultural transformation. Student protests designed to shut downalternative opinions have become frequent and sometimes violent. Frank Furedi‘s What’s Happened To The University? A Sociological Exploration of Its Infantilisation explores the origins of the anti-free speech climate at U.S. and U.K. universities.

Do modern campuses actually value ideas and intellectual discourse? Should there be limits on capitalism? Is modern architecture bad? Sir Roger Scruton and Christina Hoff Sommers join ‘Viewpoint’ on the AEI Podcast Channel to discuss each of these topics and more.

This conversation originally aired on the AEI YouTube Channel on March 22, 2017.

Member Post

 

Back when Glenn Beck worked for Fox News, he documented the changes that were spreading across the Middle East. Back in 2010, with seemingly good intentions, an Arab Spring was launched to unseat the leadership of Egypt, Libya, and other countries, and bring about freedom to many who were under repression.  He noted however, how anarchists, communists and […]

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Yes, You Have Free Speech! (Except on 99.9985% of This Campus.)

 

georgiagwinnettcollege…And except if your expression “disturbs the peace and/or comfort of person(s).” And for only about 18 hours during the week. Otherwise … free speech! So it is at one college.

Alliance Defending Freedom sued Georgia Gwinnett College Monday on behalf of Chike Uzuegbunam, a student who sought to politely share his faith on campus. Despite jumping through several unconstitutional hoops in order to get permission to speak, Chike was nonetheless accused of “disorderly conduct.”

In July, college officials stopped Uzuegbunam from talking with fellow students about Christianity and handing out religious literature in a plaza outside the college library. After Uzuegbunam complied, campus officials informed him that GGC policies also prohibited him from speaking privately with students about his faith unless he provides three days advance notice and speaks only in one of the two small speech zones during the two to four hours a day they are open during the week.

Member Post

 

I’ve been in the work force for eighteen years now, and only in the last four or so has this notion of CYA really reared its head.  I’m going to attempt to define it, so let me know if I’m missing something.  In the cases where i’ve been told to C-My-A or that someone else […]

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What Were Your Favorite Books of 2014?

 

Back in early January, I was just about to publish a list of some of my favorite books of 2014 when the free speech world exploded due to the horrible murders in Paris. I wrote a little bit about my thoughts on the issue for The Huffington Post about a week later, pointing out that the decision not to publish the Mohammed cartoons almost a decade ago may have been a fateful error. I decided to put off my review of books 2014 until today.

As you can see, like I do all my book reviews, I try to focus on how the book’s arguments or findings relate to my work defending free speech on campus and in the larger world. In this case I focused on The Upside of Your Dark Side: Why Being Your Whole Self—Not Just Your “Good” Self—Drives Success and Fulfillment. The book is fascinating, as it argues for the psychological benefits of “negative” emotional states. It took me 2000+ words to do the book justice, but I thought Ricochet readers might like this excerpt: