Campus Free Speech

Students Get to 'Choose' Between Very Little Free Speech, Even Less Free Speech

To be fair, 'no preference' is also an option.


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The University of Kentucky student government might be a dictatorship, but at the very least, it's a benevolent one. Student leaders have decided to permit mere peasants to express their preference for one of two free speech policies: the restrictive one, or the very restrictive one.

Well, that's not exactly right. There is a third choice: 'No preference.'

The survey was approved by a faculty advisor at UK and emailed to the student body at large. It asked students to answer a set of questions; the 18th pertained to the university's speech code. "What is your preferred University policy on free speech on campus?" it asked. Here were the possible answers:

  • A single designated free speech zone in a specific location on campus
  • Multiple designated free speech zones in various locations across campus
  • No preference

Despite being part of a survey, the question should come with a single correct answer: Free speech is guaranteed on all campus property under the First Amendment and should be encouraged everywhere by an institution of higher learning, you unbelievable tyrants. Needless to say, this wasn't listed as one of the three possible responses.

Campus Reform's Kaitlyn Schallhorn reports that students who answered the survey were entered to win "lower-level basketball tickets" or a $250 scholarship. Anyone who does win should take the tickets (their questionable altitude notwithstanding); the sort of education provided by an institution that doesn't respect students' most fundamental constitutional isn't worth the cash. 

Susan Kruth of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education notes that free speech "zones" are dying in court and state legislatures, since they muzzle students in blatantly illegal ways. Still:

The message this sends is that UK students are expected not only to tolerate restrictions on speech but to prefer them over a truly open campus. If that's true, talk about unlearning liberty!

Hey, at least they're giving students options. Two whole options. (Three, if you count 'no preference'!) What more could they want? The student government can't just let the plebeians talk freely wherever and whenever intelligent thoughts spring to mind, obviously. That would truly be anarchy.

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  1. The survey was approved by a faculty advisor at UK…

    Yeah! Send them back to England! Where the Limeys are also too delicate to hear speech that disagrees with them.

    1. limeys


      1. Hatcrime!

        (Props to SugarFree.)

    2. UK = University of Kentucky

      1. That’sthejoke.jpg

  2. Spent a year and a half there before transferring to Eastern. The school used to be really good about free speech and (legitimate) tolerance. It was a culture shock from my conservative, sheltered home town and did a lot to open my mind. However, the proggies somehow managed a stranglehold on Lexington. It’s absolutely disgusting. UK administrators passed a campus wide tobacco ban a few years ago. Been downhill ever since.

    OT: Still ranked #1 and undefeated. OOOOOOOOOO C-A-T-S CATS CATS CATS!!

    1. Well, of course you’re #1. The joke is that Kentucky could beat the 76ers, but that’s only because Kentucky has a higher payroll.

      1. *narrows gaze*

        Sorry, can’t hear you over the deafening sound of 18 and 0.

        (all in good fun)

        1. I would love to be able to talk some trash on behalf of my Cards, alas we can’t hit the broad side of the Buffalo Trace distillery warehouse. I honestly have never seen a team as stacked as this one at UK.


          1. Yeah, what happened with that Duke game?


            1. Duke was just in the zone!

            2. Duke-Louisville is probably the toughest matchup to watch. On every shot, I feel both enthusiasm and shame. I root for a 2-0 final score in five OTs.

              Last week, I had the rare pleasure of seeing my two favorite teams win on the same night! UK, and “whoever’s playing against Duke”.

              1. ABD (Anybody But Duke)

            3. I mean, I know Coach P always gets us to our peak right before conference tourney time but this is just ridiculous. Blackshear will never, EVER be the player people thought he would be. Trez is at his best as an off-ball defender whose offense comes off of a primary slasher (ala Siva & Smith) or the threat from deep (Hancock). Rozier is legit and Aaron and Snider have potential but I swear to God I cover my eyes every time Chris Jones has the ball in his hands.

            4. And to be honest, I’m less concerned about the UK and Duke losses as I am the UNC one. At least with UK we hung for 75% of the game. Duke we couldn’t hit water if we fell out of a boat. UNC, however, we gave up a 16-point lead. That should never happen on a Pitino-coached team and I’m seriously wondering if that’s one reason Trez had his captaincy yanked. I don’t see much floor leadership this year. (sigh)

    2. UK class of ’89, now working in the “other” Lexington here in Progtopia.

      Thanks to innovations such as the SEC Network and WatchESPN, I’ve been able to watch all the games for the past few years, making me homesick for the days when I could turn off the sound and listen to Cawood’s play-by-play over the radio.

  3. Kinda sorta OT: This person complains that undergrads today aren’t censorious enough. Bonus: She asserts that the speech police “are always the same people ? extremist men….”

    1. She was actually off to a good start too.

      1. Agreed. She nails the symptoms but glaringly misses the diagnosis. In my experience, it’s been the progressive radfems who are guilty of the “male crimes” she mentions.

    2. Don’t read the comments. Or the article. Just don’t read any of that shit. Complete insanity.

    3. I kept being led down a path of cogent thought and then she would say “because males.” I wasn’t aware that the old, white, patriarchal Freemason Bilderbergers were in control of the trans movement.

      Then again, I haven’t been going to meetings as of late…

      1. I request a pdf of the minutes if you get a chance.

    4. “are always the same people ? extremist men….”

      Penises are evil!

      1. ahhh so the radfems and the church have something in common.

    5. Hardly any being in the universe has the capability for such profound stupidity as a College Professor

      Their perception of themselves as ‘enlightened beings’ is reinforced by their power over students, and the student’s own willingness to accept whatever the professor says as ‘elevated thought’ no matter how inane.

      They write entire books of densely argued text about subjects that could be dismissed offhand as irrelevant and meaningless by anyone with the slightest critical discrimination.

      Democrats worship these people.

  4. Robert Farley is a professor at UK. This doesn’t surprise me.

  5. Multiple designated free speech zones in various locations across campus

    OK — the “various locations” being wherever anybody is.

    1. No, I want free speech when nobody is there, too. If a sign is observed (via camera) when nobody is there, that speech should also be protected.

      I hate to be nitpicky, but you KNOW that they would get stupid about shit like this.

      1. But if the sign is *not* observed (via camera) you’re OK with quashing that speech? šŸ˜‰

        1. If a tree falls in the woods, and nobody is around to observe it, does it still require trigger warnings?

  6. A state university making restrictions on speech. I can’t think of any way this could possibly survive a court challenge.

  7. Free speech is guaranteed on all campus property under the First Amendment

    On a private campus, where you have unrestricted free speech rights is going to map pretty closely onto where there are public access easements (not to be confused with more limited easements for “business invitees” or the like).

    On a private campus, the administration is going to have some leeway (pretty broad, I think) to restrict speech on purely private property (not under any easement) just like any other private landowner. On public access easements, their ability to restrict speech is pretty limited.

    State schools present a different angle, which I’m really not sure of.

    1. State schools are agents of the state. They get no such leeway.

      IOW, fuck off, censoring twats.

  8. OT: CNN OP-ED article titled “The climate is ruined. So can civilization even survive?” penned by professor of Theology.

    Once again, we have proof that Loki the Trickster is the one true god.

    1. “penned by professor of Theology.”

      This is true of so many mud-momma rants, whether the writer majored in that field or not.

    2. Science is best learned from professors of religion, movie stars, and billionaire fund managers.

      1. Yes, science education in this country went downhill after the tragic death of Prof. Max Power, Doctor of Divinity, on the set of Fistpuncher 3: Knuckle Sandwich, as he was distracted during the fatal stunt as he was performing calculations for Bayesian stochastic volatility analysis for his hedge fund completely in his head.

        1. Actually, I think the downhill trend started with Russell Johnson.

      2. And politicians. Can’t for get about them. Bribed enough vote counters to get 51% of the votes cast? Or, better, got less than 51% of the votes, but got your opponent disqualified? Congrats. Now you know EVERYTHING ABOUT EVERYTHING ALL THE TIME.

        Cool how that works.

    3. Where do people get the stupid idea that the environment is so incredibly fragile?

      What does “the climate is ruined” even mean?

      1. ‘What does “the climate is ruined” even mean?’

        It means “point more guns at the peasants”.

    4. Once again, we have proof that Loki the Trickster is the one true god.


    5. This same theology professor (*and EXPERT on Climate Science) seems to also be considered an “expert” on how 9/11 WAS AN INSIDE JOB AND BOOOSH! HALLIBURTON!! CORPRASHUNS!?

  9. Sorry, don’t want to sound willfully naive here, but can someone please explain what the hell a “free speech zone” is even supposed to be? Is this meant to be a designated area for students holding pickets and protests, or something more pervasive like “any speech that offends anyone can get you expelled, unless it occurs in this special boundary zone.”

    I mean the first definition sounds unworkable and misguided at best, but the second definition is just batshit insane.

    1. In my experience, some from column A and some from column B.

      And it’s ridiculous as it sounds.

    2. Also sorry for responding to my own comment but: Assuming you wanted to punish someone for exercising free speech outside of the “protected zone”, what criteria would you apply?

      Does content matter?

      What if it’s political but not offensive?

      What if it’s offensive but not political?

      Do t-shirts, signs and fliers count as punishable speech, or do I have to actually say something?

      What if I just fart really loud and someone gets upset over that?

      That last one was a joke of course, but in order to enforce a rule like this you would need to answer the above questions and many many more. To save time they might as well just hand you a list of things that you’re allowed to say and do.

      1. “That last one was a joke of course,”

        It’s all fun and games until Reason posts a story about exactly that.
        I’m afraid satire is being overtaken by events.

        1. “Oberlin TA Fired Over ‘Racist’ Fart”

          1. LOL

            “I *distinctly* heard ‘yomamma’!”

          2. If it were a man it’d be a sexist fart, and hes lording his white cisgendered patriarchal supremacy over teh wiminz

          3. *toot*

            “OMG did your ass just call me a gook??”

            ::rings Social Justice alarm::

      2. The creation of “zones” is an attempt to place a sort of strict-liability theory on things, specifically so the university doesn’t have to engage in what any court would clearly see as content/viewpoint discrimination. You speak outside of the zone? We don’t care what it’s about. You’re punished.

        Of course it’s utter nonsense. They engage in all the sorts of evaluations you outline above and plenty more. And they pick winners and losers all the time.

        1. Wow.

          To quote John Stuart Mill: “That shit is fucked.”

  10. We have protests and marches that run all through campus. And the anti-abortion assholes set up their bloody fetus photos all over the main quad, nowhere near the the free-speech area, which is just an big patch of grass near the Student Center.

    FIRE is freaking out over nothing. I’m fine with confining the religious assholes who scream “FAGGOT” at any two men walking near each other to a single well trafficked area. Or the people that scream-read the entire Bible through a portable speaker system? Is it such a horrible violation to not let them do that in the classroom building? Or outside the dorms?

    The state of Kentucky only funds 9% of our operations at this point. And most of the real estate that made up our land grant was stolen by Transylvania University with the help of crooked politicians in the 1920s. We are a private university in every way aexcept getting to control people looking to harass our students.

    1. “Is it such a horrible violation…”
      yes under any circumstances and always, believing in free speech means protecting that which you find offensive

      1. But you think the FAGGOT-screamers would be allowed to just insult people non-stop? There’d be a counter-effort to drown them out and all you’d have all day is people screaming at each other. We are a business. Just because we are a convenient captive audience of young people doesn’t mean we can be kept from operating.

        Personally, I’d let them roam all over campus. And encourage anyone they make mad to follow them to their house and stand in the street and scream all night and all day. Or go to their children’s school and do the same. Or picket the ass-backward hillbilly church that creates those annoy fucks.

        1. “But you think the FAGGOT-screamers would be allowed to just insult people non-stop? There’d be a counter-effort to drown them out and all you’d have all day is people screaming at each other. “

          Hey, you could televise it and put it on the Fox Business channel? They have an open slot.

          Just a thought.

        2. Oh I see, you are for making fun of this group or that group but not any of your “special groups”.

          It annoys me to no fucking end with you people that sit around and think it’s ok to make fun of the dregs you know as the hillbillies. I am a hillbilly from E. KY and I believe you are laying the blame on the wrong people.

          This is entirely anecdotal but to argue my side I will present the following. I went to church way out in the “forbidden land” until I was 18 and the issues of abortion or homosexuality rarely came up. At 28 yrs old and having been to churches in KY, AR, TX, LA, NM and MS I can still count on one hand how many times those issues were ever addressed. Before you accuse me, I’m really not that religious and I’ll go months without ever attending and when I do go I think it’s more out of habit or something.

          I believe your gripe lies with the nation wide radio networks that talk about this shit all day, everyday and they most certainly are not broadcasting from some holler in the backwoods.

          In a sense, what I am saying is that hillbilly is my identity. If I were to say a cultural slur towards some other group, you would be up in arms, so how about leaving my people out of this.

          I’d bet most of your ideological enemies are coming from right there in Lexington. Hillbillies usually don’t have a lot of money or time so I don’t see too many of them driving all the way there just to yell at some college kids (just my opinion).

          1. I guess I shouldn’t say hillbilly is my identity. That didn’t sound as stupid when I wrote it as it does now that I’m reading my post again.

            It’s hard to describe, as hillbilly is not an ethnicity so I guess you could just say it’s how you were raised. I relate to these people and there are many, many good people that would claim that particular designation.

    2. Oh, the fetus posters with comparisons to the Holocaust and southern lynchings? Surprised they still do that, tbh. The biggest thing that appalled me about that was the campus daycare being 50 yards away. My Feinstein “muh chillins” side comes out a little bit.

    3. That’s a decent point. A university needs to be able to function as a university. As long as the “speech zones” are used as a way to keep screaming maniacs from disrupting the actual business of the university, I’m not too worried.

      What does amaze me is the continued usage of the phrase “free speech zones”. That’s some nice Newspeak right there.

  11. A single designated free speech zone in a specific location on campus

    This is the option I would support. The name of the single zone is, “The Campus”.

  12. It’s interesting that the college students of the 60s would have nothing of that and would deliberately speak out in the “no free speech” areas. Sadly most of them are the left wingers in charge now, but the kids in colleges now should grow a set of balls and force this to the SCOTUS.

    1. I’m sure that the people who think that the point of college is to have protests about the latest SJW issues will continue to do their thing.

      Assuming things haven’t changed too much in the 15 years I have been out of school, the people who go to college to be activists are just itching for a chance to occupy some offices or defy the administration in some way so they can be just like all those cool people in the 60s or Apartheid protesters of the 80s.

      1. I don’t believe everyone who protested in the 60s or 80s were “activists” per se. Besides, maybe they need “activists” in some of these colleges. The idea of a ‘free speech zone’ is in an of itself a restriction on free speech.

  13. Under federal case law, free speech does *not* apply to an entire campus in the same way that it does to a traditional public forum. Offices and meeting rooms used for University administration may be non-public fora.

    Lecture halls or meeting rooms may be semi-public fora. Non-traditional areas may be designated as public fora. The state may place restrictions on the class of people who may use such a forum, but it may *not* use content based restrictions, and will be subject to strict scrutiny.

    See e.g:…..dforum.htm

  14. “What is your preferred University policy on free speech on campus?”

    Um…that there be no “university policy” because said university is State (and probably federally) funded and the State (and federal) governments are prohibited from infringing on free speech, you mendacious, totalitarian fuck.

  15. Wait, weren’t “free speech zones” the most evil thing ever when the Bush administration was setting them up?

  16. just before I looked at the bank draft ov $6382 , I have faith …that…my neighbours mother had been realy earning money in their spare time from their computer. . there mums best friend had bean doing this 4 less than sixteen months and just now paid the dept on there house and bought themselves a Lancia . see this website……….

  17. $89 an hour! Seriously I don’t know why more people haven’t tried this, I work two shifts, 2 hours in the day and 2 in the evening?And i get surly a chek of $1260……0 whats awesome is Im working from home so I get more time with my kids.
    Here is what i did

  18. $89 an hour! Seriously I don’t know why more people haven’t tried this, I work two shifts, 2 hours in the day and 2 in the evening?And i get surly a chek of $1260……0 whats awesome is Im working from home so I get more time with my kids.
    Here is what i did

  19. $89 an hour! Seriously I don’t know why more people haven’t tried this, I work two shifts, 2 hours in the day and 2 in the evening?And i get surly a chek of $1260……0 whats awesome is Im working from home so I get more time with my kids.
    Here is what i did

  20. Free speech zones at the University of Kentucky exist primarily for non-UK persons and groups. It allows everyone from preachers to political activists to say whatever they like without disrupting the day to day activities of the school. These people like to harangue students that pass by, calling them whores, baby killers, elitists, racists, etc.

    UK students are free to express every idea under the sun anywhere they happen to be; but it would be a shame to let the facts get in the way of a snarky blog post though.

    BTW, you missed a word…

    ” the sort of education provided by an institution that doesn’t respect students’ most fundamental constitutional _____ isn’t worth the cash.”

    1. So you are saying that a libertarian site pulled something straight from the MSM’s playbook and is omitting little pieces of the story so they can make the whole thing sound worse than what it is.

      Why I never……(points finger) blasphemer!!!!!!!!!!

  21. Probably too young to remember the Berkeley Free speech Movement…..keley.html

  22. On a recent holiday in the US, we passed the “free speech zone” in the Grand Canyon National Park. I joked that once upon a time, the free speech zone was known as the United States of America.

  23. Seems to me to ask the problem is the LEFT considers blocking your way to class Free Speech.

    I mean after I have worked all day and am of to night school that I have paid for out of my pocket,,, to have someone block my access to class because they are pissed off at (who-knows-who or EVERYBODY) is not a Peaceful Protest…. It is VIOLENT to black my way…. This is no different than having to get a permit…

  24. $89 an hour! Seriously I don’t know why more people haven’t tried this, I work two shifts, 2 hours in the day and 2 in the evening?And i get surly a chek of $1260……0 whats awesome is Im working from home so I get more time with my kids.
    Here is what i did

  25. Class of 99 and 2007 and live here. I remember it being much worse, unless you like trigger warnings, during the 2nd degree. I’m not all that surprised.

    Go Cats!

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