10
   

Freedom of Speech on Campus Should be Protected

 
 
Reply Thu 19 Jul, 2018 09:08 am
I'm going to dip my toe into what may be a controversial topic, but let's do it anyway.

I recently read this case about a professor, John McAdams, at Marquette University who published the name of a teacher who made a comment to a student along the lines of 'if you don't support gay rights then maybe you should find a different class' (paraphrasing). His publishing of that teachers name sparked the usual internet deluge of emails and messages mostly of the hate/anger variety. Understandably that teacher was pissed and the college fired McAdams. McAdams won in the state Supreme Court that basically said that he shouldn't have been fired because publishing the teachers name wasn't against his contract with the school.

I don't want to talk specifically about that case, mostly because I think the teacher was a dick to do that to a colleague and I think he could have made his point without publishing her name. I think the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruling was the correct one, however and some of the details could be found here:
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/editorials/ct-edit-marquette-professor-wisconsin-supreme-court-20180706-story.html


I DO want to talk about the larger issue that McAdams wrote about. He wrote:
Quote:
"How many students, especially in politically correct departments like Philosophy, simply stifle their disagreement, or worse yet get indoctrinated into the views of the instructor, since those are the only ideas allowed, and no alternative views are aired?"



I don't know how widespread this is on college campus' as I've been out of school for 18 years (I sound old) but I've been hearing too much about people being kicked off of campus' or not allowed to speak or riots breaking out if particular (mostly conservative) speakers are asked to speak, for this to not be an issue. And I'm sure that minority view points held by students are being stifled by fear a fear of public mocking (which I'm not suggesting is new or novel as it happens to everyone in all walks of life; people don't speak up all the time for fear of being wrong or sounding dumb); but I think it's different when teachers or educators do it.


1) I think this is wrong. I think students should be allowed to protest, but I think it's wrong that conservative students voices are being drowned out and the speakers they are inviting are not allowed to speak on campus (while apparently more centrist or left leaning speakers ARE allowed).

2) Similar to #1 - Alternative voices (in this case conservative voices) should be allowed to speak and be discussed when and where appropriate (note, for example: I don't believe that discussion creation in a molecular biology class to be appropriate -- but I do think a "creation-scientist" should be allowed to speak on campus at an event).

3) I think it's unfortunate that conservative students feel that their voices (and in essence, their ideas) are not welcome at college...which I've always believed to be a place where ideas are to be shared and argued intelligently...not through coercion; and not silenced when all permits, etc have been acquired

4) I think the college should take an active stance in making sure that all of it's students are held to the same rules and if conservative students want to have a speaker as disgusting as Milo Yiannopoulos come speak at their school, they should be allowed to do so and the school should provide a space for that. Here is an example of people who have been dis-invited from their speaking events.
http://www.businessinsider.com/list-of-disinvited-speakers-at-colleges-2016-7

5) The reasons many of these schools/students/professors seem to be giving have to do with political correctness, which in many many forms I'm a huge fan of, but this seems to have gone a little far in my opinion.

I think that's enough from me for now, I'm looking forward to some of your thoughts on the 5 points that I think are most critical.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 10 • Views: 3,571 • Replies: 94

 
maporsche
 
  2  
Reply Thu 19 Jul, 2018 09:21 am
In case there is any question on the sincerity of the words I’ve written, please understand that this is my current opinion on what I’ve seen. Your comments may bring me to a different opinion but what I’ve written so far is my completely honest opinion about what I’ve been seeing/hearing.
ehBeth
 
  3  
Reply Thu 19 Jul, 2018 09:25 am
@maporsche,
Working on parts of it.

It's a bit tricky as some of this butts up against human rights legislation in Canada, so have to try to separate out my initial 'but that's illegal' reaction.
maporsche
 
  2  
Reply Thu 19 Jul, 2018 10:39 am
@ehBeth,
ehBeth wrote:

Working on parts of it.

It's a bit tricky as some of this butts up against human rights legislation in Canada, so have to try to separate out my initial 'but that's illegal' reaction.


If you have the time or inclination, I'd like to know the areas where your reaction was "but that's illegal [in Canada or US]" as well. I'm interested in understanding how the law butts up against this.
Sturgis
 
  2  
Reply Thu 19 Jul, 2018 10:44 am
@maporsche,
I'll get back to you later.

Initially, I will say that while I agree with your points, I also feel the people who are planning to attend a college or university, should do their research and learn the viewpoints of the institution. The same also holds true for those who want to become educators at these places.
PUNKEY
 
  4  
Reply Thu 19 Jul, 2018 10:59 am
I personally think that debate should be the format when controversial issues are up for presentation on the campus. I don’t like the idea that a platform is given to people to spew their position, all without conversation.

Whoever books these folks should require two- sided (or more) debate format.

maporsche
 
  2  
Reply Thu 19 Jul, 2018 11:01 am
@PUNKEY,
PUNKEY wrote:

I personally think that debate should be the format when controversial issues are up for presentation on the campus. I don’t like the idea that a platform is given to people to spew their position, all without conversation.

Whoever books these folks should require two- sided (or more) debate format.


I'll assume you would also apply that standard to more liberal speakers who the majority of the student's may agree with?

That's an interesting compromise; who doesn't love a good debate?
0 Replies
 
izzythepush
 
  0  
Reply Thu 19 Jul, 2018 11:20 am
This story was on the radio this morning. Lots more at link, submitting without comment, (for now.)

Quote:
‘Sometimes it’s fun to just go wild and rape 100 girls’

11 Warwick University students have been temporarily suspended after making rape jokes in a group chat.

Screenshots obtained by The Tab and The Boar show the boys discuss raping a group of female students they know personally.

The Tab has now also identified the three boys responsible for making the rape jokes in the group chat.

"Rape her friends too," one student said, with another replying: "Sometimes it's fun to just go wild and rape 100 girls."

The next message reads: "Rape the whole flat to teach them all [a] lesson."

Since this morning, The Tab has seen even more messages from the chat, which can be seen here.

The group chat also includes racist and anti-semitic messages, such as "love Hitler, hate n****s and jews and Corbyn."

In another message, one boy discusses raping a girl from his flat "in the street while everybody watches". Another boy says this "wouldn't even be unfair."

Three formal complaints were made to the university and 98 screenshots of the group chat were submitted as evidence.

The Tab understands that of the 11 suspended students, many of them hold senior and exec positions in academic and sporting societies at Warwick.

The Tab contacted Warwick University who say they are still investigating and, "cannot comment further on this matter until those investigations, and any subsequent disciplinary processes, are concluded."

The screenshots also show the chat was at one time named "**** Women, Disrepsect them all", and the nicknames of several members include "Grenfell" and "Taxi Jew".

In another exchange where the group discuss girls at their uni reporting sexual assault, one member says: "Why is it always the moany fucks who have things happen to them."


https://thetab.com/uk/warwick/2018/05/08/11-warwick-students-suspended-for-threatening-to-rape-female-warwick-students-in-group-chat-28392
izzythepush
 
  0  
Reply Thu 19 Jul, 2018 11:25 am
@izzythepush,
Sorry I meant to include this from the same article. Link as above.

Quote:
In further screenshots, a member of the chat can be seen to ask, "what do we do with girls?," before responding to his own question with "RAAAAAAAAAPE." He also makes several references to rape including having "surprise sex with some freshers" and also discusses having sex with a member of Year 10.


Year 10 is age 14-15.
0 Replies
 
maporsche
 
  2  
Reply Thu 19 Jul, 2018 11:26 am
@izzythepush,
Thanks, but I don’t see how this is related to what I posted. Maybe when/If you comment later you could connect them somehow.

Appreciate it.
izzythepush
 
  2  
Reply Thu 19 Jul, 2018 11:48 am
@maporsche,
The radio discussion was all about freedom of speech. One pundit said this was a private space and therefore shouldn't affect their academic career regardless of how offensive it might be.

The other pundit quoted Socrates saying that once something is written down it was no longer private.

It was on the radio this morning and when I saw your thread title it was the first thing I thought of.
maporsche
 
  2  
Reply Thu 19 Jul, 2018 11:51 am
@izzythepush,
izzythepush wrote:

The radio discussion was all about freedom of speech. One pundit said this was a private space and therefore shouldn't affect their academic career regardless of how offensive it might be.

The other pundit quoted Socrates saying that once something is written down it was no longer private.

It was on the radio this morning and when I saw your thread title it was the first thing I thought of.


Gotcha.

My point was more along the lines of these issues with non-rapey speech being discouraged or cancelled on college campus'.

I don't think you're going to hear many people defending the right for students to talk about raping their classmates without punishment; you certainly won't see me defending that viewpoint here.


If you'd like to talk through any of the 5 issues I outlined above; I'd love to hear your thoughts.
izzythepush
 
  2  
Reply Thu 19 Jul, 2018 11:58 am
@maporsche,
maporsche wrote:

I don't think you're going to hear many people defending the right for students to talk about raping their classmates without punishment


You would hope that might be the case. It hasn't been in the past.
0 Replies
 
izzythepush
 
  2  
Reply Thu 19 Jul, 2018 12:08 pm
@maporsche,
maporsche wrote:

My point was more along the lines of these issues with non-rapey speech being discouraged or cancelled on college campus'.


So you accept that some views are too repulsive to be aired in debate. I take it you'd include race hate or any other type of speech advocating violence.

That means there is a line, where to draw the line is up for debate.

This is quite hard from this side of the pond. My natural instinct is that someone should be allowed to talk, but people should also be allowed to protest.

Although we're a mostly two party system over here our Conservatives are nothing like your Republicans, and a lot of your Republican speakers would be a bit too extreme. In short I think an arch Tory like Jacob Rees Mogg should be allowed to speak at a British university but the likes of Anne Coulter and Alex Jones should be shut down. They're just racist scum.

Btw, when I say Alex Jones I don't mean this one.

https://cdn.images.express.co.uk/img/dynamic/20/590x/Alex-Jones-crying-880547.jpg

She's lovely, she can speak wherever she wants.
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Thu 19 Jul, 2018 12:27 pm
Perhaps someone has already mentioned this, but here goes. Many public speakers' fees are paid from student fees. In that case one is not talking about a free speech abstraction. If students are, in effect, paying for the speakers, then students have a right to protest speakers who are scheduled. There are speakers whose entire intent is to cast a ugly light on state universities--alleged to be hotbeds of liberal activism--and who don't even plan to appear at the speaking event. When Richard Spencer pulled out of a speaking event
at Michigan State University, reporters were able to show that he had not even booked a room for the night in East Lansing or any nearby towns. This has become a technique of conservative speakers to claim that the "left" are opposed to free speech.
maporsche
 
  3  
Reply Thu 19 Jul, 2018 01:04 pm
@izzythepush,
I think free speech is pretty broad and I am supporting people's rights to speak controversial and offensive ideas/thoughts.

Anything that incites violence purposefully is out of bounds in my point of view, but someone like those idiot racists in Charleston should be allowed to express their hateful views. If a student group on campus wants to invite them to speak there, and they're not going to be inciting violence, then well, I think it should be allowed. I think Ann Coulter and Alex Jones SHOULD be allowed to speak on campus (and I despise their views). Their ideas are often viewed as hateful by those who disagree, but to be consistent, as long as only people's ideas are being challenged and there is no physical incitement to violence then I'm ok with that.

If security needs to be beefed up for some of these appearances, I think that should be paid for by the group who is inviting the speaker (or the speaker themselves) but they should be allowed to visit (assuming permits, etc are all in place)

I think uncomfortable ideas are the exact thing that college students need on campus.

People ALWAYS should be allowed to protest.


0 Replies
 
maporsche
 
  3  
Reply Thu 19 Jul, 2018 01:09 pm
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:

Perhaps someone has already mentioned this, but here goes. Many public speakers' fees are paid from student fees. In that case one is not talking about a free speech abstraction. If students are, in effect, paying for the speakers, then students have a right to protest speakers who are scheduled. There are speakers whose entire intent is to cast a ugly light on state universities--alleged to be hotbeds of liberal activism--and who don't even plan to appear at the speaking event. When Richard Spencer pulled out of a speaking event at Michigan State University, reporters were able to show that he had not even booked a room for the night in East Lansing or any nearby towns. This has become a technique of conservative speakers to claim that the "left" are opposed to free speech.


That's an interesting point. If the school is paying for the speakers to be there, and the speakers who've been chosen are going to express a liberal/left point of view on whatever issues then I think it's incumbent on the schools to actively "hire" people to speak on conservative issues. That doesn't mean I think they should be forced to hire say, Alex Jones, but there are many right-thinking individuals around the country who would be more than acceptable and would provide a conservative voice on campus.

If the students are paying for these speakers outside of their tuition/fees then I think it's fair game and if a school is going to open up an auditorium for lectures/visitors then all students, regardless of their viewpoints, should be allowed to schedule/invite speakers (on their own dime).
0 Replies
 
maporsche
 
  3  
Reply Thu 19 Jul, 2018 02:06 pm
@izzythepush,
Out of curiosity Izzy, you mentioned that your initial instinct is that someone should be allowed to speak, but then you mention that people like Ann Coulter should be shut down for being 'racist scum.'

How do you know when to draw the line?
izzythepush
 
  3  
Reply Thu 19 Jul, 2018 02:13 pm
@maporsche,
Exactly, everyone's definition is different. A lot of stuff considered far right over here is fairly mainstream over there. That's why I want to shut them down, this place is too much like America as it is without arseholes like that gaining traction.

I think we can agree there's a line but we probably place it somewhere different.
maporsche
 
  3  
Reply Thu 19 Jul, 2018 02:32 pm
@izzythepush,
izzythepush wrote:
I think we can agree there's a line but we probably place it somewhere different.


Yeah, I think we can agree on that.

Personally, outside of paying me enough, I'd not attend an Ann Coulter speech, but I like other people to have that option.
 

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