Now Reading
Opinion | I Came to College Eager to Debate. I Found Self-Censorship Instead.

Opinion | I Came to College Eager to Debate. I Found Self-Censorship Instead.

Ms. Sacks felt overwhelmed. She said that everyone adding to each other helped to energize the room. It was as if everyone wanted to be part the group with the correct opinion. She said that the experience made it difficult to return to class. Ms. Sacks continued to attend the class, but she was less active. She described feeling invisible and unable to see.

Other campuses are also struggling with this issue. Samuel Abrams, a Sarah Lawrence College politics professor, said that viewpoint diversity is no longer a core value in higher education. He experienced this firsthand. After he published an opinion essay in The Times in 2018 critiquing what he saw as a lack ideological diversity among university administrators and his office was closed, he felt this firsthand. Vandalized. Students protestors demanded that his tenure be reviewed. Despite their failure, Dr. Abrams is still alive dissatisfiedWith reactions from fellow faculty members. Responding to the incident Only 27 faculty membersA statement was signed supporting free expression for less than 10 percent college faculty.

Dr. Abrams explained that today’s campus environment is very different from his undergraduate experience. He recalled having late-night conversations with fellow students which left him feeling hurt but also led to the joy of having his mind open to new ideas. He fears that self-censorship could threaten this environment. He argues that college administrations, in particular, enforce and create a culture that encourages fear and obedience that has chilled speech.

Self-censorship is not a solution that can be solved by encouraging students to be more courageous. Is it brave enough to say something that isn’t popular? Yes. Is it reasonable for college students to share their views in order to solve this problem on our own? No.

Believe me, I’ve tried.

I protested A university policyThe maximum size of signs that can be placed on dorm rooms doors MountingA large sign of the First Amendment. It was The university will remove it. I responded. It workedWith administrators to create A less restrictive policy. I was a columnist for the university newspaper. Implored StudentsTo embrace free expression. I was devastated and lost friends. Twitter pile-on. I have been brave. Yet, my activism is not enough without support.

See Also

Our social interactions are not something that universities can change. However, they can help to foster an appreciation of ideological diversity in academic environments. Universities must do more than simply make. Public statements in support of free expression. We need a campus culture which values ideological diversity and supports expression in the classroom.

Universities should refuse cancellations controversial SpeakersOr, cave to an unreasonable student Demands. They should encourage professors who value intellectual diversity and nonconformism to participate in classroom discussions. They must also abandon restrictive speech codes, bias response teams, and other methods that stigmatize ideological conflict.

View Comments (0)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.