Tags: Education | Polls | college students | poll | free speech

WaPo: College Students Really Are Speaking Out Against Free Speech

Image: WaPo: College Students Really Are Speaking Out Against Free Speech
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By    |   Friday, 12 Feb 2016 02:36 PM

College students are becoming more left-leaning and hostile against free speech than students in the past, a new survey says, lending credence to conservatives' complaints about today's young adults.

According to the Higher Education Research Institute at the University of California at Los Angeles, most of the 141,189 full-time college freshmen at 200 public and private colleges and universities nationwide said they're willing to shut down speech they find offensive, writes Washington Post opinion columnist Catherine Rampell.

The survey, now in its 50th year, found that about 71 percent of freshmen agree that colleges should prohibit racist or sexist speech on campuses. The question has been asked for the past few decades, but this is the most freshmen who agreed on a speech prohibition. Until now, the highest was in the early 1990s, when the number was around 60 percent.

In a related question, about 43 percent of freshmen agree that colleges should have the right to ban "extreme speakers," a number twice as high as it was during the 1960s, '70s and '80s and surpassed just once, in 2004.

There are many opinions on who should be considered an extreme speaker, and in recent years, such people as former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde.

In addition, a record number, 8.5 percent said there is a "very good chance" they would participate in a student demonstration, marking even more than the responses gathered during the years the Vietnam War was being protested.

Meanwhile, Rampell notes, student groups located at 76 schools have made their own demand lists, including increasing increasing diversity of professors and students. Further demands involve public apologies, resignations, and speech codes, according to a FiveThirtyEight analysis

"While I support and admire students' efforts to make the world a better place — I also kind of understand the right's fear that student activism may be disparately used to muzzle conservative viewpoints," Rampell said. "I'm hardly an arch-conservative, and whenever I write things that college students disagree with, I get a lot of email demanding retraction, recantation, apology, prostration."

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College students are becoming more left-leaning and hostile against free speech than students in the past, a new survey says, lending credence to conservatives' complaints about today's young adults.
college students, poll, free speech
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2016-36-12
Friday, 12 Feb 2016 02:36 PM
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