Survey: 88% of Pomona College Students Say Campus Climate Chills Authentic Speech
“Eighty-eight percent of students agreed that the climate on campus prevents students and faculty ‘from saying things they believe because others might find them offensive.'”
Who knew a culture of intimidation and rampant trigger warnings would cause people to keep their mouth’s shut for fear of offending others or worse, retribution?
SPOILER: Free speech advocates everywhere. That’s who.
But I digress. The Washington Times has the story:
The vast majority of students at Pomona College say the campus climate prevents people from sharing controversial ideas for fear of offending others.
A survey conducted by Gallup and the Knight Foundation found that many students at the liberal arts college in Claremont, California, do not feel comfortable expressing their political views with their professors or peers.
Eighty-eight percent of students agreed that the climate on campus prevents students and faculty “from saying things they believe because others might find them offensive.” Slightly more than half of all college students nationwide said the same. Among the Pomona College faculty, 63 percent agreed the climate has a chilling effect on potentially offensive speech.
A rising sophomore at Pomona College, who wished to remain anonymous, said he was afraid of being “socially shunned” for going against the “campus culture dogma” at Pomona.
“Unfortunately, because college is supposed to be some of the most fulfilling years of my life socially, I don’t want to risk being ostracized, and that results in less honest campus discourse,” the student told the Claremont Independent, which first reported the survey.
The study was commissioned by the college’s Task Force on Public Dialogue, which was established by Pomona’s board of trustees last year to look for ways to support “free speech and democratic ideals with a commitment to ensuring an equitable and inclusive environment for all students.”
Non-liberal students were more likely to report that they are not comfortable expressing their political views at Pomona. Thirty-five percent of conservatives and moderates said they feel comfortable talking about politics with their professors and 21 percent with other students.
A large minority of liberal students also said they are not comfortable sharing their political views on campus. Sixty-eight percent said they are comfortable expressing their political beliefs with professors, while 66 percent said they are comfortable talking about politics with other students.
Self-identified “very liberal” students expressed the least anxiety with sharing their political views. Seventy-two percent said they are comfortable discussing their political beliefs with their professors, and 85 percent said they have no trouble talking about politics with their peers.
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