Survey: ‘Troubling’ Freedom of Association, Speech Concerns on U.S. College Campuses

A newly released survey of students at over 500 colleges and universities who belong to Greek-letter fraternities and sororities found that the majority of students don’t feel comfortable publicly disagreeing with their professors on a controversial topic.

“Students who aren’t able to freely express ideas among professors or peers are unlikely to realize the full measure of what higher education has to offer,” Nathan Harden, editor of RealClearEducation, said. “Students are equally underserved by campuses where they don’t feel that their student organizations are treated equally or welcomed on campus. Fostering an environment where students are free to explore a diversity of ideas is one of the chief goals of the university – and this includes the right to form voluntary associations based on shared interests or beliefs.”

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Commentary: The Rise of Antifa in an Increasingly Toxic University Environment

Editor’s note: The views in this opinion editorial are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Campus Reform or of its parent organization, the Leadership Institute.

Despite the many contributions of the academic community to developing the intellectual capital of the most prosperous nation in the world, fostering a culture of national unity, public security, and the rule of law–and educating students committed to these ideals–is not one of them. As the tumultuous decade of the 1960s came to a roaring end in the 1969-1970 school year, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover called attention to this problem of radical professors propagandizing,  organizing, and operationalizing college students—a problem remaining to the present with the rise of Antifa on college campuses and its activities across the country.

In 1970, the famed Director testified college campuses across the United States had witnessed “an unprecedented number of disturbances and incidents of student-centered violence,” including 1,785 demonstrations, 313 building seizures by violent students, 246 arson or attempted arson attacks, and 14 bombings (Hoover, Statement Before President’s Commission on Campus Unrest, July 1970, p.1).  Issue-based grievances centering on civil rights and Vietnam War protests had putrefied in the toxic political climate of the 1960s and became revolutionary anti-Americanism as radicalized, organized, and professionalized agitators exploited opportunities and circumstances for their own benefit and for misguided visions of a better world.  Communist and radical Left ideology provided the specious framework needed to channel the rage and rebellion on the strategic targets of America’s future leaders.

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Commentary: The Rise of Antifa in an Increasingly Toxic University Environment

Antifa flag

Editor’s note: The views in this opinion editorial are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Campus Reform or of its parent organization, the Leadership Institute.

Despite the many contributions of the academic community to developing the intellectual capital of the most prosperous nation in the world, fostering a culture of national unity, public security, and the rule of law–and educating students committed to these ideals–is not one of them. As the tumultuous decade of the 1960s came to a roaring end in the 1969-1970 school year, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover called attention to this problem of radical professors propagandizing,  organizing, and operationalizing college students—a problem remaining to the present with the rise of Antifa on college campuses and its activities across the country.

In 1970, the famed Director testified college campuses across the United States had witnessed “an unprecedented number of disturbances and incidents of student-centered violence,” including 1,785 demonstrations, 313 building seizures by violent students, 246 arson or attempted arson attacks, and 14 bombings (Hoover, Statement Before President’s Commission on Campus Unrest, July 1970, p.1).  Issue-based grievances centering on civil rights and Vietnam War protests had putrefied in the toxic political climate of the 1960s and became revolutionary anti-Americanism as radicalized, organized, and professionalized agitators exploited opportunities and circumstances for their own benefit and for misguided visions of a better world.  Communist and radical Left ideology provided the specious framework needed to channel the rage and rebellion on the strategic targets of America’s future leaders.

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Biden Orders Examination of Trump Era Due Process Rights on College Campuses

President Joe Biden called for an examination of collegiate due process protections enacted under former President Donald Trump’s administration in a Monday executive order.

The president announced his “Executive Order on Guaranteeing an Educational Environment Free from Discrimination on the Basis of Sex, Including Sexual Orientation” on International Women’s Day, calling on the Education Department to evaluate a Title IX regulation issued under the Trump administration that encouraged due process for those accused of campus sexual misconduct.

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Campus Survey: 42 Percent of Students Say Their College Doesn’t Empower Free Speech

Conservative students on college campuses across the U.S. are more likely to self-censor than their more liberal classmates out of fear of backlash or retribution, according to a first-of-its-kind student survey commissioned by RealClearEducation and the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE).

The survey is the largest of its kind – canvasing 20,000 students at 55 U.S. colleges and universities about their experiences with free speech on campuses. Conducted by College Pulse, the survey ranks schools according to how open and tolerant students say they are, among several other criteria, and includes numerous student comments about their experiences.

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Commentary: A Psychological Profile of the New Campus Activist

A certain anger at society seems to pervade the academy today. Hardly a week goes by without hearing about outraged students either demanding recompense for some perceived injustice or attempting to shut down an invited speaker. Between professors who spread neo-Marxist ideologies, administrators who enforce an extreme political correctness on campus, and peer pressure to be politically “woke,” student radicalism is reinforced from all sides.

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