Ten years ago in 2003 in the Chronicle of Higher Education, Greg Lukianoff & Harvey Silverglate examined the state of free speech on campus in an article entitled, “Speech Codes: Alive and Well at Colleges.” Last week, Greg published an update to that article in the Huffington Post.
The article debunked the myth that university restrictions on freedom of speech (“speech codes”) had gone the way of the dodo after being roundly mocked in the court of public opinion and consistently defeated in federal courts in the 1980s and 90s. The article revealed that the overwhelming majority of campuses still maintained the very kind of speech codes that lost in court. A decade later, I ask: What has changed since our 2003 article, and what does that change–or lack thereof–mean for our nation’s campuses?
In the article, “Speech Codes: Alive and Well, 10 Years Later,” Greg details what hasn’t changed, what has gotten better, and what has gotten worse in the last ten years. Unfortunately, the answers to those questions (and the implications for students and free speech) are not very encouraging.
You can read to whole article here.
The Humanist Magazine interviews FIRE President Greg Lukianoff about ‘Unlearning Liberty‘ in its May/June volume. In this extensive interview, Greg unpacks the major themes of the book. Here is a preview:
The Humanist: One of the things you lament in your book is that differences of opinion are no longer viewed as opportunities to learn or as chances to think through ideas. Please say more about that.
Lukianoff: Speech codes and changed attitudes about freedom of speech have created all of these negative feedback loops for expression and critical thinking. As you censor unpopular opinions you end up with classroom environments where individuals can’t really speak their minds. You also end up with students mostly talking to people they already agree with. The research on this is very strong—when you talk to people you already agree with, it thwarts development of critical thinking skills, and it makes people much more confident in what they already believe. It tends to make people more adamant, and exacerbates the serious problem of groupthink.
The whole interview can be read here or in the May/June print edition of The Humanist.
In an article for Forbes online, Greg details the findings of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education‘s (FIRE’s) new report, Spotlight on Speech Codes 2013: The State of Free Speech on Our Nation’s Campuses. Though the percentage of colleges and universities with unconstitutional speech codes continues to decline, Greg reports that a whopping 62% of them continue to maintain policies that seriously infringe upon the free speech rights of their students. Greg points to several factors for this, including the burgeoning administrative class on campus and an increasing ignorance of the legal and philosophical principles of free expression. To read more of Greg’s analysis, visit Forbes!