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UCLA Restricts Enrollment in Free Speech Course Despite Popularity

UCLA Restricts Enrollment in Free Speech Course Despite Popularity

Maybe the course should be required.

We can’t have college students learning the truth about free speech, can we?

Campus Reform reports:

UCLA restricts enrollment in popular free speech course

University of California, Los Angeles professor Keith Fink teaches a course on free speech that is so popular his department chair decided to limit enrollment.

Fink has been teaching courses focusing on free speech issues for ten years now—each year with historically large class sizes, sometimes attracting as many as 245 students with his most popular seminars.

Until recently, there had never been an issue with Fink giving out PTE (permission to enroll) numbers to students who wanted to enroll in the courses. Generally, the department sets an initial enrollment cap for the class at around 200 students, but Fink has the right to override that limit if he chooses.

The UCLA Office of Instructional Development outlines that professors have the discretion to add students to their class by issuing PTEs with the only restriction being that the amount of students enrolled cannot exceed the capacity of the room the class is being taught in.

This quarter, Fink is teaching a class titled Communications 167: Sex, Politics, and Race: Free Speech on Campus, but he has been barred from giving students PTE numbers to enroll in his class past the initial class cap.

“It’s a complete run around,” Fink told Campus Reform, describing his experience talking to different university officials trying to get these students rightfully enrolled in his course. Originally, “the registrar was enrolling the students because that’s the rule,” Fink explained, but then suddenly “stopped because the department said not to enroll.”

Even though it does not state in any policy the the department has the right to block enrollment, Fink lamented that “I cannot get one person to look at the rule that has the power to simply say ‘you’re correct they should be admitted.’”

So far, at least 41 students have been barred from enrolling in his popular course on free speech.


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