In a recent interview with Nick Gillespie, Foundation for Individual Rights in Education President Greg Lukianoff lamented that college students have become less reliable supporters of free speech and due process.
"For the overwhelming majority of my career what I've been fighting is administration overreach," said Lukianoff. "During that entire time the single constituency on campus that seemed to have the most common sense and seemed to understand free speech and due process the best was always the students. And somewhere, two or three years ago, it just kind of changed."
I've been writing about federally-supported, student-driven censorship efforts on college campuses for the past several years, and I share Lukianoff's perspective.
But not all students are thrilled about an academic landscape where offensive speech is vigorously policed under the banner of harassment and students accused of sexual misconduct are denied fair hearings. Tufts University freshman Jake Goldberg has put together a petition asking Congress to defund the Office for Civil Rights until it revises its Title IX guidance to comport with basic principles of due process—and 250 students have signed it.
"We believe that no further funding should be provided to this department until OCR revises its illegal and immoral guidance to our colleges and universities," the petition reads. "We ask that you withhold funding for the Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education until they change their guidelines to conform with constitutionally established principles of free speech and due process."
Goldberg is still looking for more students to sign the petition, and plans to submit it before the period for public comment on OCR's proposed budget comes to an end, according to The College Fix.
Goldberg's actions come at a time when FIRE is openly calling on a student or institution to sue OCR.