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Dr. Helen

What Can Be Done About Campus Censorship?

April 22nd, 2013 - 7:31 am

Minding the Campus has a good article by the leaders of FIRE on how to defeat campus censorship:

It’s no longer a matter of much debate that America’s college campuses are not the beacons of free and open discussion they were intended to be. In its 14 years of existence, our organization, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), has documented hundreds of cases of gross abuses of students’ and faculty members’ fundamental rights. More than sixty percent of America’s largest and most prestigious colleges have speech codes that are either unconstitutional (at public universities) or directly contradict promises of free speech (at private universities).

The two authors of this piece come from different political and personal perspectives. One is a liberal and an atheist (Lukianoff), the other a conservative evangelical Christian (Shibley). Our combined decades of work as president and senior vice president of FIRE have convinced us that the groupthink and the pressure to conform, be silent, or talk solely to those with whom you already agree that is fostered by the culture and rules of the modern campus is destructive to students, our educational system, and our society as a whole.

So what can people who recognize the importance of free speech on campus do about it?

Read their six steps to get some ideas.

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All Comments   (4)
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> What Can Be Done About Campus Censorship?

And the answer is... avoid these feminist nunneries like the plague upon the land, because that's what they are.

An education is free, it's schools which cost $$$'s. Starve the beast by boycotting it. Simple.

The libraries and most lectures are free and open to the public, so they're really only charging for credentialization, which is pretty useless these days, and something that's only going to continue to get worse.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
You've got to speak up. Too many times, I sat there and tolerated liberal cant when I should have spoken out. It's easy to go along to get along. But once the dam breaks, and somebody actually speaks on something conservative, you generally get a more positive reaction than you'd think.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
I don't think much can be done about it. When the current tenured class retires, the incoming tenured class will have been taught and approved by them. So it's a vicious cycle.

What this country desperately needs regarding education is curriculum reform. And that's at all levels from kindergarten through college. Grammar, logic, rhetoric, literature, mathematics, science, fine arts, that's the traditional liberal arts curriculum. It teaches you how to think, read and write. And those are the essential skills.

Try telling a professor that Shakespeare was the pseudonym for Edward de Vere, the Earl of Oxford. Oh there's no doubt about it. The proof is in the sonnets, the history plays, and the second quarto of Hamlet, which is autobiographical by the way. I've done the research, extensive research. I can make a well-reasoned and factual argument. But not to any English professor. They simply won't hear it.

Or try telling a professor that Darwin was wrong. He had no concept that DNA even existed. So his presumption that mutation is random is just that, a presumption. If mutation is not random, and there is evidence to prove it is not, then there is no such thing as natural selection. There's nothing to select for. There is adaption and speciation. The environment changes, and species change with it, but not randomly, deliberately. Try telling that to a professor. I did, once. He threw a book at me.

I don't think the issue here is freedom of speech. I think the issue is close mindedness, or what I call petrified thought. Most people can only repeat what they've been taught, like a parrot. They do not have open minds. The way they think is, get with the program or get out.

When I was a professor, I always told my students this. It's not what you do not know. It's what you think you know which is not true that is the problem.

Sad that more professors don't teach their students to think outside the box. Maybe it's because they themselves can't that they don't know how.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
I think conservatives and other groups that are feared and repressed by college administrations should get loud, happy, and boisterous. It is important to speak up, but people listen better and tend to be more open to agreement when you speak up with a sense of humor and you stubbornly refuse to get petty or snarky. If you use sarcasm, use it with a smile.

Trey
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
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