There are two ways a college or university can attack freedom of speech on campus: The first is by directly punishing, or threatening to punish, “incorrect” speech; the second is by allowing all-too-common rabid leftist mobs to drown out any dissent. Both of these can be seen by examples as Syracuse, via the first way, and at Swarthmore, via the second.
Syracuse University expelled a graduate student in education for speaking out against racist drivel.
Graduate student Matthew Werenczak was finishing up his masters degree in education by taking a summer course that involved teaching at a local middle school. After being introduced to their classes by a member of the Concerned Citizens Action Program (CCAP), said CCAP member stated “that he thought that the city schools should hire more teachers from historically black colleges.” In response, Werenczak spoke out against this on Facebook:
“‘Just making sure we’re okay with racism,’ wrote Werenczak. ‘It’s not enough I’m … tutoring in the worst school in the city, I suppose I oughta be black or stay in my own side of town.'”
As a result of that, Syracuse threatened him with expulsion or “fulfill several requirements in order to gain a chance of ‘re-admittance.'” After fulfilling the requirements, he was still kicked out of the program.
Only under pressure from the Foundation of Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), did Syracuse back down. If FIRE had not gotten involved, the Syracuse would have succeeded in purging its program of dissent and incorrect thinking. Considering that few students in his position would not only be willing to fight back, but also know about groups like FIRE that would help him, it begs the question of just how common these blatant examples are… and how common more subtle moves to purge programs of “incorrect thinking” are…
An example of the second way, via mob rule can bee seen at Swarthmore, with the rabid eco-loonies “Mountain Justice,” who are professionally trained by environment extremists. They “forcibly seized control of an open Board of Managers meeting, issued demands and ejected conservative students, while Swarthmore’s president Rebecca Chopp stood by and did nothing.”
The video of the putsch-style take over of the meeting is most shocking in the way that the board members seemed to not have a problem with it!
One of the leaders of the mob flips out when a conservative student stands up against the mob. While the school president stand by passively, she is subjected to physical intimidation and the harangue of one of the leaders of the mob verbally attacks her in a whiny little rants about needing a “safe space.” While a man going off verbally like that against a woman would typically result in the man being suspended or expelled, it would not happen here not only because he is both black and gay, but because the woman was a conservative (and thus not deemed worthy of protection). It is clear from the video that it is the conservative student that needs a “safe space.”
Disgracefully, the school ended up justifying what that mob did, and even validated their stance!
Increasingly, colleges and universities are no longer places where the classical values of free and open debate in the search of knowledge is even allowed.