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Wed Sep 20, 2017, 10:31 AM

A chilling study shows how hostile college students are toward free speech - The Washington Post

A chilling study shows how hostile college students are toward free speech - The Washington Post



A chilling study shows how hostile college students are toward free speech

By Catherine Rampell Opinion writer September 18

Here’s the problem with suggesting that upsetting speech warrants “safe spaces,” or otherwise conflating mere words with physical assault: If speech is violence, then violence becomes a justifiable response to speech. ... Just ask college students. A fifth of undergrads now say it’s acceptable to use physical force to silence a speaker who makes “offensive and hurtful statements.”

That’s one finding from a disturbing new survey of students conducted by John Villasenor, a Brookings Institution senior fellow and University of California at Los Angeles professor.

In August, motivated by concerns about the “narrowing window of permissible topics” for discussion on campuses, Villasenor conducted a nationwide survey of 1,500 undergraduate students at four-year colleges. Financial support for the survey was provided by the Charles Koch Foundation, which Villasenor said had no involvement in designing, administering or analyzing the questionnaire; as of this writing, the foundation had also not seen his results.

Many of Villasenor’s questions were designed to gauge students’ understanding of the First Amendment. Colleges, after all, pay a lot of lip service to “freedom of speech,” despite high-profile examples of civil-liberty-squelching on campus. The survey suggests that this might not be due to hypocrisy so much as a misunderstanding of what the First Amendment actually entails.
....







Results based on online survey of 1,500 undergraduate students at U.S. four-year colleges and universities, all U.S. citizens, conducted Aug. 17-31. For a confidence level of 95 percent, the margin of error is between approximately 2 percent and 6 percent, depending on the group.
....

Catherine Rampell is an opinion columnist at The Washington Post. Follow @crampell

This comment says it all:

in4mation
9/19/2017 7:49 PM EDT

"Here’s the problem with suggesting that upsetting speech warrants “safe spaces,” or otherwise conflating mere words with physical assault: If speech is violence, then violence becomes a justifiable response to speech."

You summed it up in just two sentences.

6 replies, 3158 views

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Reply A chilling study shows how hostile college students are toward free speech - The Washington Post (Original post)
mahatmakanejeeves Sep 2017 OP
no_hypocrisy Sep 2017 #1
mahatmakanejeeves Sep 2017 #2
exboyfil Sep 2017 #3
exboyfil Sep 2017 #4
yallerdawg Sep 2017 #5
Buzz cook Sep 2017 #6

Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Wed Sep 20, 2017, 10:33 AM

1. I agree with access via Free Speech

There should be exposure subject to discussion and debate.

My take-away is that the students are ill-prepared for rhetoric and debate and their perceived only solution is censure.

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Response to no_hypocrisy (Reply #1)

Wed Sep 20, 2017, 10:37 AM

2. "My take-away is that the students are ill-prepared for rhetoric and debate...."

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Reply #2)

Wed Sep 20, 2017, 10:50 AM

3. Five Rhetoric and seven English

faculty signed the shameful Berkeley letter calling for boycotts.

Twenty faculty out of a total of 67 were from Studies departments.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Wed Sep 20, 2017, 10:54 AM

4. We need better Civics education at the High School

Intolerance to speech is not just found for students on college campuses. I would like to see the same study done for the general public (especially at a NASCAR race and a Ted Nugent concert).

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Wed Sep 20, 2017, 11:07 AM

5. I think what happened in Boston is the best scenario!

A dozen showed up for the hate speech.

50,000 showed up NOT for the hate speech.

Free speech respected and tolerated!!!


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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Wed Sep 20, 2017, 01:32 PM

6. Alarmist bullshit

Free speech protections are meant to protect the citizen from government over reach. Squabbles on campus don't rise to that level.

The examples given are not about a free exchange of ideas. It is when colleges give an unchallenged megaphone to controversial speech.
Students protesting that are exercising their own speech. In this case silencing the students by government action is a violation of free speech.

The solutions to kids shouting down guest speakers are the same as at rock concerts. Good organization and security. Unfortunately that would cost money that the sponsors of controversial speakers are unwilling to pay. They also loose the notoriety and resulatant publicity they get for free.

The media feeds on chaos and controversy they need it so much that they are more than willing to manufacture it themselves. The Washington Post is one of the great malefactors in this regard.

But more topically the media are among the greatest clamps on the exercise of speech. So it is no surprise that they point the finger at powerless students rather than at themselves.

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