Survey: Majority of College Students Afraid to Speak Freely Because They Might Be Offensive

Joseph Jankowski | Activist Post

American universities have done a complete about-face away from the free speech havens they once were.

Recently brought to the forefront of American media has been the attack on free speech and lack of respect for the press on college campuses.

Most notably it was the incident at the University of Missouri last November where we saw the anti-first amendment attitude in full force.

During a protest on campus, students pushed and shoved reporters and cameramen to prevent them from covering the calls for resignation of University president Tim Wolfe over a supposed racial incident that happened on school grounds.

“No comment!” the protesters chanted as they locked arms, “No Media, Safe Space.”

In this video you can see freelance ESPN journalist Tim Tai desperately trying to explain to University of Missouri student protesters what the first amendment actually means.

A survey released this week has shed some light on the attitude college students have towards free speech and whether or not they believe universities need to step in and censor.

It also reveals that a chilling effect on free speech is taking place because of the politically correct, social justice warrior, in need of a safe space attitude we saw in Missouri.

The survey, sponsored by the Knight Foundation and Newseum Institute in partnership with Gallup, found that 69% of students said colleges should be able to limit the use of slurs and other language that is intentionally offensive to certain groups.

63% of students said colleges should be able to restrict the wearing of costumes that stereotype certain racial or ethnic groups.

Nearly half of those surveyed saw legitimate reasons to curtail the press when people at a protest believe press coverage will be unfair to them.

Perhaps the most frightening finding of all is that 54% of students surveyed said the climate on campus prevents people from saying what they believe because others might find it offensive.

3,072 students, ages 18 to 24, were surveyed from multiple four year colleges from February 29 to March 15.

This willingness of universities and their students to suppress what might be offensive was highlighted by Rachel Huebner, a Harvard University student, who told Fox News’ Megyn Kelly that “many students come to college wanting to be exposed to a diverse group of people, to a variety of viewpoints, but the opposite is occurring. Open discourse is stifled — there is a lack of freedom of expression from students, from administrators…”

The survey also showed that students draw a distinction between speech that is politically offensive and expressions that are slurs or promote racial stereotypes as 72 percent said colleges should not be allowed to censor offensive political views.

If American universities are going to continue to be factories which produce a politically correct, anti-first amendment citizenry, the prospect for a free society in the future looks grim.

Joseph Jankowski is a contributor for Planet Free Will.com. His works have been published by recognizable alternative news sites like GlobalResearch.ca, ActivistPost.com and Intellihub.com

Follow Planet Free Will on Twitter @ twitter.com/PlanetFreeWill

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