A professor at the University of Chicago has written a five-point plan for college students on how to safeguard free speech on campus, at a time when freedom of speech is facing suppression on college campuses.
Charles Lipson, a political science professor at the University of Chicago, argues in an op-ed for RealClearPolitics that freedom of expression at American universities is under threat, and that university administrations are to blame.
“Today, dean-of-students offices are devoted to comforting delicate snowflakes and soothing their feelings,” he says. “If that means stamping out others’ speech, too bad.”
He argues that posts created by universities that involve words such as “diversity,” “inclusion” and “welfare” are ideologically driven and seek to protect what he describes as “approved minorities,” whilst shunning other minority groups such as Christian organisations and Chinese-Americans.
“That means the whole process is not only ludicrous, it is deeply biased against some viewpoints,” Lipson says. “That’s what ‘inclusion and diversity’ means in practice, not just at Chicago or Northern Colorado but at universities across the country.”
Lipson’s plan to restore free speech is based on five separate components. The first step involves university administrations taking responsibility for upholding free speech on campus, with the university warning students that “our school believes in free speech, open debate, and diverse opinions.”
The third of the plan are that the university “assigns one ranking administrator whose primary responsibility is ensuring free and open debate on campus,” conducting regular reports to ensure standards are upheld.
His final steps include demanding that student affairs offices “stop suppressing basic academic freedoms and start supporting them,” and “letting students know that they have every right to protest peacefully,” but “with no right to disrupt others, and they will be punished if they do.”
““Unless universities address these issues, firmly and promptly, they will fail in their basic mission of promoting the exchange of ideas, real learning, and innovative research,” Lipson says.
“That mission requires vigorous, unfettered debates and diverse viewpoints. Right now, it is being smothered in an avalanche of delicate snowflakes.”
“There is absolutely no reason why speech should be freer on an 8:00 p.m. primetime TV show than an 8:00 a.m. class at the university,” he added.