U. of California Starts Journal Dedicated to Free Speech

Free Speech Sign
AFP Contributor

The University of California’s Free Speech Center launched a journal this week that will focus on First Amendment issues on campus.

According to a report by Inside Higher Ed, the University of California has launched a journal dedicated to the protection of free speech on campus. The journal, which is called Speech Spotlight, published its first edition in December.

The first volume explains the journal’s purpose. Speech Spotlight will address a specific First Amendment topic as it relates to campus life.

Welcome to Speech Spotlight, a new initiative of the University of California National Center for Free Speech and Civic Engagement. This initiative is intended to help members of higher education communities gain new insights into speech and civic engagement-related issues on university and college campuses. Each installment will address a specific topic by clarifying the issues, reframing the debate and raising critical questions to facilitate constructive discussion and effective action.

The first edition of Speech Spotlight focused on “bias incident” reporting systems, a common program at universities around the country that encourages students to report their peers when they make politically incorrect remarks. Breitbart News has extensively covered the rise of “bias incident” systems at universities and colleges around the country.

Our inaugural“chapter”focuses on bias response teams (BRTs) – what they are, what they aim to accomplish, their effectiveness (or lack thereof) and why free speech advocates are concerned that BRTs chill speech on campus. The controversy around BRTs highlights a question that underlines virtually all campus expression debates: How do higher education institutions balance the robust and open exchange of ideas (even offensive ones) with the values of inclusion and equity?

The journal plans to publish several editions throughout the upcoming year. The University of California Free Speech Center is located on the Washington D.C. campus of the University of California. The UC Free Speech Center selects 10 fellows each year from throughout the country to advance their goal of promoting free speech rights on campus.

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