“Student leaders on five of the system’s campuses — Eau Claire, La Crosse, Madison, Stevens Point, and Whitewater — had called on the system to delay or cancel the survey.”
A survey on free speech on campus at the University of Wisconsin has been delayed and for some reason, student activists and leaders at the school seem relieved.
What is everyone so worried about? It’s just a survey. Is it possible we’re going to learn something these people don’t want anyone to know?
Megan Zahneis reports at the Chronicle of Higher Education:
U. of Wisconsin Delays Free-Speech Survey That Led One Chancellor to Quit
A controversial plan to poll students in the University of Wisconsin system about free-speech issues has been delayed until fall amid questions about whether it had bypassed institutional-approval channels. The survey, which was to have started on Thursday, sparked one campus’s leader to resign this week.
In an email to system administrators on Wednesday afternoon, Timothy Shiell, the director of the center funding the survey, wrote that the pause “will enable us to answer fully and accurately the avalanche of questions arising and lay the groundwork for a successful survey.” Shiell was not immediately available to comment.
Student leaders on five of the system’s campuses — Eau Claire, La Crosse, Madison, Stevens Point, and Whitewater — had called on the system to delay or cancel the survey. Davin R. Stavroplos, president of Whitewater’s student body, wrote in an email to The Chronicle that the delay marked “a great win for students.[“]
“I hope the UW System decides against releasing this survey next semester, and as always, if a student has concerns about their ability to freely exercise their speech in the classroom, they should immediately get in touch with their administrators and their student government association. That is how we properly address these issues,” Stavroplos said.
Perhaps some of the questions will explain why so many people seem to be worried about this.
NBC 15 in Madison has all the survey questions. Students are asked to rate these definite no, probable no, neutral, probable yes, or definite yes:
If a required reading/assignment for a college class includes content that some students believe is harmful to a particular identity group, should the professor drop the reading/assignment as a requirement?
If a topic being discussed in a college class includes perspectives that some students believe is harmful to a particular identity group, should the class stop discussing the topic?
If a professor says something in class that some students believe is harmful to a particular identity group, should the students report the professor to the university?
That’s all pretty tame, then we come to this (emphasis in original):
Student groups often invite speakers to campus to express their views on a range of topics. If some students perceive a speaker’s message as offensive or biased against certain groups of people, do you think university administrators should disinvite the speaker?
- Yes, they should disinvite the speaker
- No, they should not disinvite the speaker
- I have no opinion
If some students perceive a speaker’s message as offensive or biased against certain groups of people, how do you think the students should deal with the situation? Check any that apply.
- Ignore the speaker/Don’t attend the presentation
- Contact the event organizers to express concerns about the speaker’s message
- Protest outside the event
- Attend the presentation and ask challenging questions
- Attend the presentation to ridicule the speaker
- Attend the presentation to make noise so the speaker cannot be heard
- Attend the presentation to physically force the speaker from the stage
At this point, we’re getting into the territory of what recently happened at Yale.
Is that why people are worried about the survey?
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