Student Survey on Free Speech Paints a Troubling Picture

Posted in Lifestyle
Tue, Oct 27 - 4:35 pm EDT | 11 months ago by
Comments: 6
Be Sociable, Share!
    • Tweet
    Use Arrow Keys (← →) to Browse

    A recent survey shows that over half of U.S. college students support the implementation of “speech codes” in order to regulate speech on campus.

    The William F. Buckley Jr. Program at Yale recently commissioned a survey from McLaughlin & Associates on, students’ views on free speech, the First Amendment, “trigger warnings,” and more. The results have been published, and show a troubling view of the free exchange of speech and ideas in the United States.

    Free speech -censorship
    Photo by cnythzi / Getty Images

    The survey, published on October 26, indicates that 49% of college students in the United States feel “intimidated” when professors share differing beliefs. A staggering 51% favor their school having speech codes in order to regulate speech for students and faculty alike, while 63% stated that they would be in favor of their professors issuing trigger warnings – a practice that has been denounced by the American Association of University Professors.

    By a 52-42% margin, students were in favor of forbidding speech from people who have a history of “engaging in hate speech,” while 72% support disciplinary action for “any student or faculty member on campus who uses language that is considered racist, sexist, homophobic or otherwise offensive.” No criteria was given for what constitutes “otherwise offensive” speech, to the surprise of no one.

    Also, 35% percent believe that the First Amendment does not protect “hate speech,” while 30% of self-identified liberal students and 10% of self-identified conservative students say the First Amendment is outdated. Interestingly enough, 32% misidentified the First Amendment in relation to free speech, incorrectly citing another amendment. I suppose it is easy to label something as ‘outdated’ when you, quite literally, have no idea what it is.

    The Wall Street Journal pointed out that the attitudes regarding speech on campus can be used to explain the long list of people who have been invited – and then disinvited – from speaking at colleges and universities, including Suzanne Venker, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, George Will, and Charles Murray.

    A summary from WSJ reads, “With the assault on free speech and the First Amendment proceeding apace in institutions once dedicated to robust intellectual debate, it is no wonder that there are more and more calls to criminalize speech that dissents from the party line on any number of issues, from climate change to race relations, to feminism and sex.”

    One need not agree with everything a person says to agree that their voice makes a valuable contribution to advancing the open exchange of ideas on a college campus. Restricting speech, particularly on the basis of it directly conflicting with our own views, is antithetical to the pursuit of knowledge that defines a place of higher education. Such a pursuit requires a robust protection of the right to freely express one’s views, however controversial.

    This is not a matter of forced participation in speech. The institutionalization of any specific ideology in any academic environment, from religious to political, is antithetical to the pursuit of knowledge that defines a place of higher education. However, restricting individual speech, particularly on the basis of it directly conflicting with our own views, is equally antithetical to that very same pursuit.

    The full survey can be viewed here.

    Liz Finnegan is a soulless ginger with no political leanings. Pun enthusiast. Self-proclaimed “World’s Okayest Person.” Retro gaming contributor for The Escapist.

    Read more from Liz by flipping through the gallery below.


    This story might make you gag. A feminist blogger is making yeast infection bread.

    Paris Attacks

    The day of the ISIS terrorist attacks in Paris was not the day the music died.

    Photo by Thierry Chesnot/Getty Images

    Political Correctness

    Anne Rice is right. We are facing a new era of censorship, in the name of political correctness.

    (Photo by Beck Starr/WireImage)


    James Harrison returned his kids' "participation trophies." He is teaching his children not to feel entitled. We could all take a page out of that book.


    Missouri high school students stage a walk-out after transgender teen uses girls' locker room.

    Outrage Culture

    Liz Finnegan weighs in on Troy Baker, ice cream toppings and outrage culture.

    Planned Parenthood

    Badass feminist Camille Paglia slams liberal media over Planned Parenthood silence.

    Donald Trump

    The Howard Stern of politics now sets his sights on POWs.

    Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

    Confederate Flag Controversy

    With the controversy about the Confederate flag, some games aren't even allowed to be historically accurate.

    Same-Sex Marriage

    No, the Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage was not an attack on states' rights.


    Find out what happened when a reporter held up a sign at SlutWalk that read: “There Is No Rape Culture in the West”

    What I Learned From Rachel Dolezal

    Liz Finnegan explores why it's OK to be a hypocrite when it comes to opinions on Rachel Dolezal.


    People who are disabled by choice are being labeled "transabled". Yes, it's actually a thing.

    The reality is many participants in the ill-informed social justice movement hold themselves to different standards of speech and behavior than they hold others.


    Liz Finnegan discusses the reality of the latest trending hashtag: #GiveYourMoneyToWomen.

    Women in STEM

    Liz Finnegan discusses the popular misconceptions and scapegoats concerning the gender gap in STEM fields.

    Nothing But the Truth

    Liz Finnegan explores the truth about campus rape hoaxes and false accusations.

    Game of Thrones

    A fictional crime -- the rape of Sansa Stark on Game of Thrones -- has sparked real outrage. But, this is what watchers of the show signed up for.

    Image source: HBO


    A Kennesaw State University student was accused of harassment for sitting in a waiting room, and waiting for his advisor.

    Image source: YouTube


    Misandry is a real problem that needs to be addressed. The true irony of "ironic misandry" is that it isn't ironic at all.

    Image source: Tumblr

    Bedtime Stories

    This social justice professor says bedtime stories can give your kid an unfair advantage over others.

    Image source: Shutterstock

    Sexual Consent

    Sexual consent is a two-way street with dual responsibility, and no one is talking about this.

    Image source: Shutterstock

    Social Media

    Twitter is filtering the quality out of social media by censoring tweets without you even knowing about it.

    Image source: Shutterstock
    Use Arrow Keys (← →) to Browse

    Be Sociable, Share!
      • Tweet

      Related Posts