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Williams College Students Demand Freedom From Speech

Williams College Students Demand Freedom From Speech

“reckless and dangerous policies”

Williams is considering adopting a pro-free speech policy and some members of the student body are very unhappy about it.

Greg Lukianoff of the FIRE writes at Ricochet:

Students at Williams College Demand Freedom from Speech

Students at Williams College in Massachusetts are angry. According to a petition (PDF) signed by hundreds of students, the faculty is urging the college to enact “reckless and dangerous policies” that will “imperil marginalized students,” and amount to “discursive violence.”

What awful set of policies could Williams College faculty possibly be considering?

It is a version of the policy known as the “Chicago Statement.” Created in 2015 by a committee led by legal scholar Geoffrey Stone at the University of Chicago, the statement “recommit[s] the university to the principles of free, robust, and uninhibited debate.” It explicitly reminds students and faculty on campus that they have a “responsibility for maintaining a climate of mutual respect,” and that “concerns about civility and mutual respect can never be used as a justification for closing off discussion of ideas, however offensive or disagreeable those ideas may be.”

The policies that accompany these principles not only protect political expression, but also prevent university administrators from restricting public expression to tiny areas of campus. Often misleadingly called “free speech zones.” This is a distressingly common practice at many universities, and it limits not just political speech but expression of all kinds.


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Williams used to be highly selective and have an absolutely first-rate student body. I shudder to think that this is representative of the best college material they could find nowadays.

    Massinsanity in reply to HarvardPhD. | November 30, 2018 at 10:42 pm

    Its all an outgrowth the diversity hustle. Admit hundreds of students to an elite college who really can’t cut it and they have to find some excuse so it must be oppression even though they attend a school that admits less than 10% of applicants.

A couple of years ago, my daughter was looking at colleges. During our visit to Williams College we were taken on the tour of the campus by one of the current students. The tour included visiting the dorms. A few parents asked our student guide about various arrangements regarding boys and girls living on the same floor, or in the same wing, etc. Our guide, would never use the words “boy”, “girl”, “male”, “female” by themselves. It would always be something like, “students who identify as male…” The college youth of this country is hopeless. Visiting college campuses is probably the most depressing experience I’ve had.