The University of Chicago’s president, Dr. Robert J. Zimmer, wrote a Wall Street Journal article, titled “Free Speech Is the Basis of a True Education.” In it, he wrote: “Free speech is at risk at the very institution where it should be assured: the university. Invited speakers are disinvited because a segment of a university community deems them offensive, while other orators are shouted down for similar reasons. Demands are made to eliminate readings that might make some students uncomfortable. Individuals are forced to apologize for expressing views that conflict with prevailing perceptions. In many cases, these efforts have been supported by university administrators.”
Sharing the president’s vision, the University of Chicago’s dean of students, John Ellison, sent a letter to freshmen students that read, in part: “Our commitment to academic freedom means that we do not support so-called ‘trigger warnings,’ we do not cancel invited speakers because their topics might prove controversial, and we do not condone the creation of intellectual ‘safe spaces’ where individuals can retreat from ideas and perspectives at odds with their own.”
OTHER UNIVERSITIES DON’T SHARE VIEW
Those are hardly the sentiments of dishonest and spineless administrators at other colleges. At DePaul University, a visit by conservative journalist Milo Yiannopoulos was disrupted by student activists. School security refused to restore order and later banned Yiannopoulos from returning. Conservative Ben Shapiro was invited by Young America’s Foundation to California State University, Los Angeles to deliver a speech titled “When Diversity Becomes a Problem.” University President William Covino wrote an email that read, “After careful consideration, I have decided that it will be best for our campus community if we reschedule Ben Shapiro’s appearance for a later date, so that we can arrange for him to appear as part of a group of speakers with differing viewpoints on diversity. Such an event will better represent our university’s dedication to the free exchange of ideas.” But note that the university invited leftists such as Cornel West, Angela Davis and Tim Wise without feeling a need for differing viewpoints.