foundation for individual rights in education
While there is no need to be fatalistic about speech codes, much work still has to be done, particularly as the Department
It started with a comment from a comedian about playing on college campuses.
Would your father support him? "Oh, God no. No, no, no, no, no."
An accused former University of Virginia student argues the Education Department illegally enacted additional regulations for schools.
This past year will be remembered as the year that freedom of speech (or the lack thereof) on U.S. campuses became international news.
What the blame-the-liberals campaign doesn't acknowledge, let alone insist, is that if students are petulant or frightened now and if deans and professors are pandering to them, it's not because of liberal ideology but mainly because the "retail-store university" regards them increasingly as customers.
To its credit, the statement acknowledges justifiable limits to freedom of expression. The statement then reminds us that
The problem is that, to a large degree, it seems that American intellectuals -- particularly those in academia -- have fallen out of love with freedom of speech.
The statement, which can be adapted to all universities -- not just the University of Chicago -- guarantees "all members of the University community the broadest possible latitude to speak, write, listen, challenge, and learn." Most importantly, it makes clear that "it is not the proper role of the University to attempt to shield individuals from ideas and opinions they find unwelcome, disagreeable, or even deeply offensive."
The article likens free speech advocates (like me, I assume) to "gun nuts," claims that campus speech codes have mostly been repealed (which is completely false), then bizarrely questions if people can believe in a diversity of belief. Those of us who are big fans of the concept of pluralism found the latter particularly mystifying.