Poll: Colleges Should Restrict Student Speech

Poll: Colleges Should Restrict Student Speech

October 11, 2019 100 By Stanley Isaacs


THE MAJORITY OF AMERICANS
BELIEVE THAT FREE SPEECH SHOULD BE RESTRICTED ON COLLEGE CAMPUSES, AT LEAST THAT IS
ACCORDING TO A RECENT POLL BY HUFFINGTON POST. “FORTY-THREE PERCENT OF THE
RESPONDENTS,” AND THERE WERE A LOT OF THOUSAND NATIONALLY REPRESENTATIVE INDIVIDUALS
SURVEYED IN THIS STUDY, “SAID THAT MAKING SURE THAT STUDENTS
HAVE AN ENVIRONMENT FREE FROM DISCRIMINATION, EVEN IF THAT
MEANS PLACING SOME LIMITS ON WHAT STUDENTS CAN SAY IS MORE
IMPORTANT THAN STUDENTS HAVING AN ABSOLUTE RIGHT TO FREE SPEECH.” IT IS IMPORTANT TO
MENTION THAT NO ONE IN THIS COUNTRY HAS AN ABSOLUTE RIGHT TO FREE SPEECH; HOWEVER, A HUGE
CHUNK OF THE RESPONDENTS IN THIS SURVEY BELIEVE THAT
DISCRIMINATORY LANGUAGE IS A BAD IDEA. THEY THINK IT IS MORE IMPORTANT
TO RESTRICT THAT THAN TO HAVE ABSOLUTE FREE SPEECH ON
CAMPUSES. WHAT SAY YOU JOHN IADAROLA? I DON’T KNOW WHAT AN ABSOLUTE
RIGHT TO FREE SPEECH WOULD SEEM LIKE. CAN I JUST STAND IN FRONT OF THE
TEACHER IN THE LECTURE HALL AND SCREAM? NO, THERE ARE OBVIOUSLY
GOING TO BE LIMITATIONS. I AM EXTREMELY FRUSTRATED WITH
PEOPLE WHO WANT MORE FREE SPEECH, AND PEOPLE WHO
WANT LESS FREE-SPEECH. I AM FRUSTRATED WITH BOTH. WHEN PEOPLE SAY WE HAVE A
RIGHT TO FREE SPEECH, IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH ANY OF THIS. IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH
WHAT COLLEGES DO. IT ONLY HAS TO DO WITH THE
GOVERNMENT BEING BARRED FROM CUTTING DOWN ON YOU EXPRESSING
YOURSELF IN CERTAIN WAYS. IF IT IS A STATE SCHOOL,
THERE ARE CERTAIN FIRST AMENDMENT PROTECTIONS THAT THE
STUDENTS HAVE, BECAUSE THEY ARE ESSENTIALLY GOVERNMENT
EMPLOYEES. WHEN YOU ARE IN A PRIVATE
INSTITUTION IT IS A LITTLE DIFFERENT. WE HAVE DONE STORIES ABOUT
COLLEGES LIMITING THE EXPRESSION OF THEIR STUDENTS,
AND IT IS OKAY BECAUSE THEY ARE A PRIVATE COLLEGE. A LOT OF PEOPLE THINK THAT
THEY ARE REFERENCING THE CONSTITUTION WHEN THEY TALK
ABOUT FREE SPEECH, BUT WHAT THEY ARE REALLY DOING IS THEY
ARE SAYING THAT, GENERALLY, AS AMERICANS, AND PEOPLE AROUND
THE WORLD, WE VALUE THE ABILITY OF PEOPLE TO EXPRESS
THEMSELVES IN WORDS AND IN OTHER WAYS, AND THEY DON’T LIKE
WHEN PEOPLE TRY TO STOP THAT. IF I WERE TO SAY THAT YOU
SHOULDN’T DO IT, THEY WOULD TELL ME TO STOP SAYING THAT,
WHICH I FIND IRONIC, BECAUSE THEY ARE CUTTING
DOWN MY FREE-SPEECH. BUT YES, STUDENTS SHOULD BE ABLE
TO PROTEST, AND PUBLISH WHAT THEY WANT, AND SAY WHAT THEY
WANT, I THINK WE SHOULD ALL AGREE ON THAT, BUT OBVIOUSLY
THERE ARE CERTAIN THINGS THAT YOU CAN’T DO. MY STANCE ON THIS IS CLEAR,
BUT I WANT TO GIVE YOU MORE DETAIL INTO THAT. I THINK THAT FREE SPEECH IS
CREDIBLY IMPORTANT ON A COLLEGE CAMPUS, BECAUSE IT IS SUPPOSED
TO BE A FREE MARKETPLACE OF IDEAS, WHERE PEOPLE ARE NOT
AFRAID TO SHOW WHAT THEIR IDEAS ARE, EVEN IF THEIR IDEAS
MIGHT BE A LITTLE OFFENSIVE. AT THE SAME TIME, YOU DON’T
WANT YOUR LANGUAGE TO HINDER SOMEONE ELSE FROM
SHARING THEIR IDEAS. IF YOU ARE ON A COLLEGE CAMPUS
THAT ALLOWS YOU TO SAY DISCRIMINATORY THINGS AGAINST
MINORITIES, THEN THOSE MINORITIES ARE ALREADY AT A
DISADVANTAGE BECAUSE THEY ARE BEING DETERRED, OR DISCOURAGED
FROM SHARING THEIR IDEAS. THEY ARE PUT IN A HOSTILE
ENVIRONMENT, WHERE THEY ARE UNABLE TO DO WHAT COLLEGE STUDENTS ARE ABLE
WERE SUPPOSED TO DO. THERE WAS A SURVEY A COUPLE
WEEKS AGO THEY DID NOT SPEAK SPECIFICALLY ABOUT RACE RELATED
LANGUAGE, BUT THIS DOES, THIS SPECIFICALLY TALKS ABOUT
DISCRIMINATORY LANGUAGE, AND I THINK THAT SHOULD BE LIMITED TO SOME EXTENT ON A COLLEGE CAMPUS. BUT IT DOES BECOME A SLIPPERY
SLOPE, HOW DO YOU DEFINE WHAT IS AND WHAT IS NOT
MANDATORY? AND THIS OBVIOUSLY GOES
BEYOND IT, BUT THERE ARE UNIVERSITIES IN TEXAS WHERE
PEOPLE HAVE THROWN BLEACH BALLOONS AT MINORITY STUDENTS. THERE ARE PLACES WHERE PEOPLE
HANG NOOSES AROUND STATUES OF MINORITIES. YOU HAVE RIGHTS TO DO WHATEVER
YOU WANT ON YOUR OWN PROPERTY, BUT YOU CAN’T JUST SET
OFF A BUNCH OF TOXIC FUMES THAT DRIFT TO OTHER
PEOPLE’S PROPERTIES. YOUR EXPRESSION OF RIGHTS SHOULD
NOT INFRINGE ON OTHER PEOPLE’S. IF YOU’RE A TEACHER IS SAYING
STUFF THAT YOU DON’T LIKE IT BECAUSE HE IS A LIBERAL AND
YOU ARE A CONSERVATIVE, YOU CANNOT JUST SHOWED OUT THAT HE
IS WRONG, BECAUSE OTHER PEOPLE SHOULD BE
ABLE TO LEARN IT. OBVIOUSLY WE HAVE TO DECIDE WHAT
MAKES A PERSON FEEL UNSAFE OR NOT, BUT SOME PEOPLE ARE
REASONABLE AND WE CAN HAVE THAT DISCUSSION. LET ME GIVE YOU SOME
ARE STATISTICS. I AM SOMEWHERE IN THE MIDDLE,
WHERE I THINK CERTAIN LANGUAGE SHOULD BE BANNED, BECAUSE IT
DETERS STUDENTS FROM ACTUALLY BEING PART OF THE DISCUSSION. YOU DON’T WANT TO BE AT A
UNIVERSITY SOMEWHERE IN THE SOUTH, LET’S SAY, THAT JUST
OPENLY DISCRIMINATES AGAINST MINORITIES. IT IS SUPPOSED TO BE AN
ENVIRONMENT FOR LEARNING. AT THE SAME TIME, I AM
AGAINST SAFE SPACES. THAT GOES FAR BEYOND THIS. COLLEGE STUDENTS HAVE GONE TOO
FAR IN THAT THEY WILL PROTEST CERTAIN SPEAKERS FROM COMING IN
AND SHARING THEIR IDEAS. COMMENCEMENT SPEECHES ARE
LITTLE DIFFERENT, IT IS YOUR GRADUATION, YOU WANT TO ENJOY
AND CELEBRATE IT, MAYBE YOU DON’T WANT ANN COULTER
GIVING A SPEECH. BUT IF SOMEONE IS COMING IN AND
GIVING A LECTURE, YOU HAVE TO ALLOW IT. YOUR IDEOLOGY IS SUPPOSED TO BE
CHALLENGED ON A COLLEGE CAMPUS. YOU HAVEN’T EVEN FORMED
IDEOLOGY YET, YOU ARE A CHILD. WE ARE GOING AS INDIVIDUALS, WE
ARE SUPPOSED TO BE EXPOSED TO THESE DIFFERENT IDEAS. IT IS ONE THING TO ALLOW
PEOPLE TO COME ONTO THE CAMPUS, IS A DIFFERENT THING
WHEN YOU ALLOW PEOPLE TO COME ONTO THE CAMPUS AND BE PAID
$75,000 TO DO IT. I WAS ON A BUDGET COMMITTEE THAT
PAID FOR SOME OF THE SPEAKERS, AND A LOT OF THESE SPEAKERS COST A LOT OF MONEY. THERE ARE PLENTY OF PROFESSORS
AT EVERY UNIVERSITY THAT YOU DISAGREE WITH, AND TUITION
GOES TOWARD THOSE PROFESSORS. YOU CANNOT PICK AND CHOOSE WHO
YOUR TUITION MONEY GOES TO. YOU ARE ON A COLLEGE CAMPUS, YOU
ARE SUPPOSED TO BE EXPOSED TO IDEAS THAT MIGHT
BOTHER YOU A BIT. FIFTY-THREE PERCENT STATED
THAT COLLEGES SHOULD PUNISH STUDENTS THAT MAKE RACIALLY
OFFENSIVE STATEMENTS. AS TO THEIR OPINION ON A
DEPARTMENT SPECIFICALLY DEVOTED TO PROMOTING DIVERSITY,
THIRTY-TWO PERCENT SAID THEY ARE AN IMPORTANT INITIATIVE TO
SUPPORT, WHILE FORTY-TWO PERCENT ñ WHILE FORTY-TWO PERCENT CALL
THEM A WASTE OF RESOURCES. THE RESULTS WERE MORE LOPSIDED
ON WHETHER OR NOT THE UNIVERSITY PRESIDENT HAS THE RESPONSIBILITY
TO ADDRESS RACIST INCIDENTS ON CAMPUS, WITH SEVENTY-TWO
PERCENT SUPPORTING THE NOTION AND ONLY SEVENTEEN PERCENT
TAKING THE OPPOSITE STANCE. THAT MAKES SENSE, THEY ARE
SUPPOSED TO BE THE LEADER. A LOT OF WHAT COLLEGE PRESIDENTS
DO IS GO AROUND AND RAISE MONEY FOR THE UNIVERSITY, BUT
THEY SHOULD DO MORE THAN THAT. THEY ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE
WELL-BEING OF THE STUDENTS AND THE FACULTY. SO OF COURSE THEY SHOULD MAKE
STATEMENTS, AND BE FORCED DOWN SOMETIMES WHEN THEY HAVE HAD
YEARS TO ADDRESS PROBLEMS, AND HAVE NOT DONE SO.