A recent poll of students all across the nation found that 61% of college kids believe that conservative speech is being censored and suppressed in the world of academia. While the poll also showed a disturbing level of support for excluding so-called “hate speech” from First Amendment protections, the survey shows that lawmakers both on the local level and in Washington need to do more to make sure that publicly-funded campuses are upholding our constitutionally-enshrined freedoms.
In Michigan, Republican legislators are doing just that. They have proposed an amendment to the Michigan Constitution that would give the legislature the ability to pass free speech laws targeting colleges and universities within the state. As it stands now, the state constitution allows an elected board of trustees to see that universities are in accordance with the law; lawmakers believe that handing the power back to the legislature would improve oversight and allow the state to respond more effectively to accusations of censorship.
From Campus Reform:
Republican State Rep. Jim Runestad told Campus Reform that he doesn’t believe Michigan institutions are protecting campus free speech to the best of their ability, adding that he believes violent protesters needs to face stricter punishments.
Joint Resolution P, introduced by Runestad with the co-sponsorship of several other Republicans, would amend the state constitution to “authorize the legislature to provide by law for the protection of free speech at public institutions of higher education.
“Once some of these students actually have some sanction against them it’ll put an end to this. Right now, they just permit them to” engage in disruptive protests, he told Campus Reform, referencing multiple instances in his home states that led him to introduce the bill, include one case at Kellogg Community College where students were arrested for handing out copies of the Constitution.
It’s past time for elected officials to clean up our universities, which are being run not just like little liberal fiefdoms, but are actually ceding all control to the most lunatic members of the student body. And every year, those fanatics get a little more radical and extreme. Things have gotten so bad that ANY speaker who does not toe the exact ultra-feminist, ultra-left line on American political issues will face speech-disrupting protests – if not riots and other violent forms of suppression. Rather than take control of the situation, many universities have instead given these radicals exactly what they wanted, barring conservative speakers under the guise of safety concerns.
The oppressive blackout of free speech will only get worse unless lawmakers do what they’re trying to do in Michigan. And what begins on college campuses will spread outside of them soon enough. We need to nip this in the bud…and fast.