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The Macksey Journal

Abstract

There is a growing concern about the gradual erosion of free speech on college campuses. In a recent New York Times article, the political commentator Nicholas Kristof noted: “Too often we embrace diversity of all kinds except for ideological . . . We want to be inclusive of people who don’t look like us -- so long as they think like us.” In this paper, I will review several specific examples of the suppression of free speech at Yale University, the University of California - Berkeley, and the University of Missouri. I will discuss the most common forms of censorship on college campuses, including safe spaces, trigger warnings, microaggressions and intimidation protests. I will demonstrate the negative impact of these tactics on both students and faculty. This paper will also demonstrate the inefficacy of top-down solutions, such as President Trump’s “Executive Order on Improving Free Inquiry, Transparency, and Accountability at Colleges and Universities,” and policy statements recently issued by some college administrators. This issue will be examined in the context of the complexity of the First Amendment to the American Constitution.

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