University Business May 2018 - 11

Officials can prioritize safety when
speech has the potential to incite violence.
"Families entrust us with their most
prized possessions, their children," he says.
"We have to take that into account to the
extent that the academy is supportive of
critical thought and differing views."
'Off the island'
Some call the inclusion or free speech
question a "false premise" because it
paints the ideals as mutually exclusive.
"It's like asking, 'Would you rather have
a heart or lungs?' and coming out with
a press release that says people prefer
lungs," says Frank D. LoMonte, director
of The Brechner Center for Freedom of
Information at the University of Florida.
These types of surveys devalue free
speech by tending to equate it with
extremism, such as neo-Nazis speakers,
and "bomb-throwers" like Milo Yiannopoulos, he says. "If you set the premise
that freedom of speech means people
ought to go around insulting each other's
ethnicity, no one will be in favor of it."
The better question to ask is whether
students would support the government
restricting the First Amendment. "I don't
think people want to see the government
policing the civility of speech," LoMonte
says. "They want to see people policing
their own civility."
Colleges should ensure students know
the history of free speech and its critical role in the Civil Rights and similar
movements. In addition, campus leaders
should continue to invite a diverse range
of speakers to campus, particularly conservative speakers who are not radicals.
The tide is shifting against speakers
like white nationalist Richard Spencer,
who, for instance, has drawn very small
crowds at recent campus appearances,
LoMonte says. "The marketplace is
already voting these guys off the island."
-Matt Zalaznick
www.universitybusiness.com

OPEN CAMPUS
STUDENT CONCERNS
ECH
urvey)
E SPE
E
R
2016 s
F
.
a
S
in
V
8%
SIT Y
from 7
DIVER s support:
down
(
h
h
c
t
c
e
n
e
Stude t ypes of spe f fensive spe
ion
o
ll
inclus
y and
70% A trictions on
t
i
than
s
t
r
n
e
es
Div
or ta
p
%
3
im
5
e
29% R
or
h is
lieve:
are m
nts be g free speec
h is
eech
s
e
Stude
speec
re p
tin
r tant
rotec
5 6% P emely impo sion
clu
ex tr
and in or tant
ersit y
p
iv
im
D
y
l
5 2%
treme
are ex

f
g free
otectin r tant
r
P
%
46
impo
more

FIRST AMENDMENT
Students agree that:

64% Freedom of speech is secure

(down from 73% in a 2016 survey)

60% Freedom of the press is secure

(down from 81% in a 2016 survey)

CAMPUS SPEAKERS
Students believe:

62% Shouting down speakers
is never acceptable

37% Shouting down speakers

is sometimes acceptable

SOCIAL MEDIA
Students agree that:

60% Social media stifles free expression

because people can block others whose
views they disagree with

59% Social media stifles free expression
because users fear being attacked

Source: "Free expression on campus: What college students think about First
Amendment issues," Gallup-Knight Foundation, 2018; UBmag.me/knight

May 2018 | 11


http://www.UBmag.me/knight http://www.universitybusiness.com

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