Do free speech issues on campus only stifle conservatives?
- Researchers concerned about the accuracy of reporting about free speech complaints on campus report that there may not be as many incidents as some vocal advocates for more access would suggest, and it may be affecting representatives of other than just conservative views, according to Vox.
- The Georgetown University Free Speech Project reports that while there are some 4,500 college campuses, only 60 incidents of unfair discrimination against people with particular political views have been reported in the last two years — and that it often involves the same handful of speakers. It also finds that the disruptions don’t just target conservatives.
- The reported incidents, ranging from a faculty member being fired to a controversial play being canceled, in many cases might be manufactured by groups hoping to inflame tensions.
College administrators are using a variety of approaches to deal with freedom of speech issues. Some have faced court cases involving professors airing their views, and others relate to speakers who have visited, in one case where a group was required to pay extra fees for security that it thought were not fairly applied.
A Canadian political scientist has developed a database of all incidents where professors have been dismissed and found liberal faculty were more likely to be disciplined for their views, and the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education found there were actually very few speaker were uninvited from campuses.
However, a recent survey of college students showed most believed that conservative views were more likely to be silenced on campus and according to one report, nine states have passed have passed campus free-speech legislation, and 16 have it under consideration.