Many top universities are seeing a stifling of free speech: Survey

September 20, 2023

By The Center Square

By Jon Styf
The Center Square

Tensions over free speech have been intensifying on college campuses across the United States.

From campus speakers to what professors can and cannot say, more speech is coming under question, according to a new survey of more than 55,000 on 254 U.S. campuses.

The concerns aren’t just at private schools. Several public schools show up high on the list of campuses where free speech is coming into question.

South Carolina ranked “very poor” on speech climate and disinvited two speakers between 2019 and 2023.

Michigan Tech, Auburn, New Hampshire, Oregon State, Florida State and Virginia ranked as the best colleges and universities for protecting free speech.

Of the bottom five ranked schools, according to the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression, deplatforming attempts have been successful 81% of the time. And, of those surveyed, 72% of students opposed allowing a conservative speaker on campus while 43% opposed allowing a liberal speaker.

Some of the schools ranked near the bottom of the list for protecting speech, like Harvard and Georgetown, are private institutions.

But the University of Pennsylvania and University of South Carolina are public schools ranked poorly for free speech.



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