Campus Free Speech

Citing Safety, Some Students Oppose Removal of UT-Austin's 'Free Speech Zone'

They worry that letting speech flourish in the rest of the campus will make "students feel unsafe and unwelcome."

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Texas has passed a law telling public universities to let people express their First Amendment rights in any public outdoor spaces. As a result, the University of Texas at Austin has ended its policy of limiting certain sorts of speech to a designated "free speech zone."

University President Gregory Fenves seemed happy with the new policy, telling The Daily Texan that "Our campus is a hub for people to gather and share different perspectives and experiences. This freedom is a constitutional right that has always been the foundation upon which students learn and faculty members teach and conduct research."

It does indeed violate the First Amendment when public universities treat specific areas as "free speech zones" and try to restrict controversial speech in other spaces. The entire campus should be a free speech zone.

But not all students are pleased with the change in policy, The Daily Texan notes:

"What (some organizations) are currently doing is making students feel unsafe and unwelcome," [University Democrats president Joe] Cascino, said. "I believe that universities should be able to step in and keep people like (Richard) Spencer or useless incendiary protests like (Young Conservatives of Texas') or Turning Point's from happening."

In other words, the head of one of the campus's most important progressive organizations believes that his equivalents on the right—the Young Conservatives and Turning Point USA—should be denied their right to speak. And that his justification for this is emotional safety. This precise threat to free speech is the main theme of my new book, Panic Attack: Young Radicals in the Age of Trump.

 

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  1. University President Gregory Fenves seemed happy with the new policy…

    Or at least happy the state legislature gave him cover.

    “What (some organizations) are currently doing is making students feel unsafe and unwelcome…”

    “So watch as I now do the same.”

    1. Just once I would love to see someone stand up and tell these assholes that they should feel unwelcome because they are not welcome.

      1. That uncomfortable feeling you have inside you? It’s not me. It’s your conscience.

        1. Yeah, I don’t recommend saying this during sex.

          1. Yeah because women are totally turned off by guys with questionable morals.

            1. Or uncomfortably large members.

              1. Particularly on a hit-and-run basis, that can be even worse than unwanted “parody,” which should certainly be excluded from so-called “free speech” zones on all of our nation’s college campuses. The setting of new parodic standards is something we’ve been working on for some time at NYU, where we are fortunate to benefit from the ongoing cooperation of high-placed Manhattan prosecutors. Several law enforcement agencies have, in fact, been happy to work with us behind the scenes to secure the reputations of several very respectable faculty members who were subjected to inappropriate mockery along with utterly unfounded accusations of misconduct. See the documentation of America’s leading criminal “satire” case at:

                https://raphaelgolbtrial.wordpress.com/

          2. “Yeah, I don’t recommend saying this during sex.”

            Yeah, might hurt the mood.

            “It hurts. My asshole hurts”
            “That’s not your ass. It’s your soul…whore!”

        2. Joe Biden, is that you?

    2. Hey idiot students, unsafe doesn’t mean what you think it means.

    3. Fences is a misandric piece of shit. I feel unsafe when he is happy.

  2. Is the Reason website working okay? I reloaded the page several times, but the article won’t load completely – it gets truncated before the “to be sure” part that defends the University Democrats’ position.

    1. To be sure the progressive activists’ well meaning earnestness and desire for a more inclusive and better world can be frightening to those who wish things to remain the same, but just because someone is racist, sexist and transphobic, holds a thoroughly awful position, and just speaks to troll and bait the brave defenders of truth on the left, doesn’t mean they are not entitled to the protections of the 1st Amendment.

      There, the missing part came up for me for some reason.

      1. Ah, thank you. I was curious as to whether the “to be sure” would be of the “both sides”, the “conservative snowflake”, or the “right-wing agents provocateur” variety. Seems it’s a little of all three.

        1. Bigots have rights, too.

          1. That’s why we tolerate your inane comments.

          2. it is actually indistinguishable from parody

  3. “Some Students Oppose Removal of UT-Austin’s ‘Free Speech Zone'”

    Some students should go home to Mommy.

    1. Some students need a course in civics.

      1. That doesn’t teach the virtues of Marxism.

  4. “It does indeed violate the First Amendment when public universities treat specific areas as “free speech zones” and try to restrict controversial speech in other spaces.”

    How can that be a violation instead of common sense speech control? It has been shown that common sense infringement of the bill of rights is perfectly fine. Why, it would be just fine to require expensive licenses, and mandatory classes, and a full background check to speak.

    1. No rapid-fire speaking and no speeches of more than 10 words, either.

    2. Clearly, ‘Dear Colleagues’ letters weren’t enough. It’s apparent that we need a section 230, the First Amendment for the internet, for Universities.

  5. Remember when the “free speech zone” thing first was a thing under the GW Bush administration? Funny how times have changed. Of course, I suppose college students now don’t really remember those times. As I recall, college activists (as well as libertarians and lots of other people), correctly saw it as some Orwellian bullshit.

    1. You might want to do a bit of research about who started setting up ‘free speech zones(–hint–it wasn’t a Bush)

  6. “”They worry that letting speech flourish in the rest of the campus will make “students feel unsafe and unwelcome.”””

    Welcome to life.

  7. Free speech zones started back in the sixties, at Berkeley. Students are demanding the right to protest against the Vietnam war. So the government (ei. UC Berkeley) fenced off a tiny acre and called it a free speech zone. The protesters then immediately caved and the idea that speech should be restricted to a government designated area enclosed with a fence became accepted.

    The protesters, in their ignorance of their rights, instantly caved. To the point that those who have made it a career of protesting everything on the Right are now demanding to be kept in cages rather than being allowed actual free speech.

    I blame Berkeley. I blame the UC regents. And the governor and head of the regents, Pat Brown (Jerry’s dad).

    1. Well, you learn something new every day. I first heard “free speech zone” in relation to protests of the Iraq war. Should have known it wasn’t that new.

      1. Every thing old is new again – – –

  8. “…making students feel unsafe and unwelcome,” [University Democrats president Joe] Cascino, said. “I believe that universities should be able to step in and keep people like ___________ and _____________ and anyone else I disagree with from happening.”

    Can we just dispense with the bullshit of “safe” and “unwelcome” as nothing but euphemisms for I just don’t fucking want to hear what you have to say?

    1. You’d think some of these snowflakes thought they were on, or were running, a fourth-tier, censorship-shackled, conservative-controlled campus. An Ouachita Baptist, Grove City, Liberty, or Wheaton.

      Right-wingers give the yahoo schools a pass, but reasoning, educated, and informed Americans do not.

      1. Fuck off bladders.

      2. Wheaton doesn’t have free speech zones or restrictions other than not disrupting class, church, etc.

        1. “Wheaton doesn’t have free speech zones”

          True. Wheaton excommunicates people for expressing disfavored opinions anywhere on (or off) campus. Or for drinking alcohol anywhere in the world. Dancing apparently is permitted on campus, though, if conducted with Wheaton’s “official” approval.

          A campus that punishes or ejects people for speech inconsistent with a loyalty oath seems to have no zone for free speech. The claim about a lack of “restrictions” on speech at Wheaton is silly.

          1. Is Wheaton a publicly-funded institution?

  9. Funny, I thought the folks in the #resistance were all heroic folk, equivalent to the Rangers who stormed Pointe du Hoc on Omaha Beach on D-Day.

    1. Wherever did you get such an odd notion?

  10. Citing Safety, Some Students Oppose Removal of UT-Austin’s ‘Free Speech Zone’

    AKA “conservative snowflakes”.

    1. These activists really are intensely conservative in an odd way.

      1. Conservative moralists. The display of an ankle attracts the male gaze, don’t you know.

  11. By the way, I support the removal of the Free Speech Zone. I believe that “free speech” should not require a set-aside zone. And I say that knowing that makes me an alt-right white-supremacist Trumpista. Which is something I’m willing to live with if that’s what it takes to support free speech.

    1. Because if there’s anything Trump and his cultist fans support, it is freedom of speech.

      (Except when ‘loosening up’ the relevant laws, or having government employees sign sketchy personal secrecy agreements, or imposing gags on government employees, or mandating that medical professionals mouth state-prescribed nonsense to patients, or stomping on whistleblowers, or . . . )

      1. So, if we like free speech on campus, we also like those things? At least pretend your trying, Rev. Losing worshippers at the Church of What’s Happening Now(here)?

  12. >>But not all students are pleased with the change in policy

    stupid students need the most attention.

  13. “”What (some organizations) are currently doing is making students feel unsafe and unwelcome,” [University Democrats president Joe] Cascino, said. “I believe that universities should be able to step in and keep people like (Richard) Spencer or useless incendiary protests like (Young Conservatives of Texas’) or Turning Point’s from happening.””

    But protests by unemployable ethnic studies majors over mythical bullshit…those are vital to the university.

    And Robby, having listened to your book…you’re far more “understanding” of their views than you are of the right. Even though the alt-right folks you were talking to didn’t seem interested in limiting anybody’s rights.

  14. Free speech in America’s re-education camps is as foreign as free speech in Cuba.

  15. But not all students are pleased

    Does anyone know the difference between students and “fainting -couch” students? I feel like there’s some key difference just outside my grasp which distinguishes these fainting-couchers.

  16. I would not like to be in college today.

    Back in the day we had a free speech zone. It was “the bridge” right outside the student union building where all the food was. You technically needed a permit but it was awarded by the students. Everything was there, John Birch, Palestinians, Hare Krishna, you name it.

    Meh, kids these days need rules for everything.

    These Minnows you think you are raising up. They can’t even swim.

  17. “The entire campus should be a free speech zone.” Or, how about this: The entire jurisdiction of the Constitution should be a free speech zone? Moreover, while we’re on the subject of rights, how about the unConstitutional “Asset Forfeiture Law” and “NDAA”? Both have been declared Constitutional by SCOTUS. Why? They are necessary the health (power) of the govt., if not really legal.
    And here we see the complete failure of the “Checks/Balances”.
    Time to toss out this political paradigm and try a new one, e.g., self-governance based on reason, rights, and non-violence.

  18. If you’re a moron, you SHOULD feel unwelcome on a university campus.

    1. Only a few campuses today have such an unwelcoming atmosphere. MIT, I would suppose.

  19. Snowflakes freed from being political pawns of the left.

  20. Hey Soave, your Kindle book is too expensive. $11.99? Please. That’s what you get for going with a big-5 publisher. You should’ve used Reason’s press, and bought the editing and formatting yourself. Bought your own ads on Reason. Macmillan? Wellp, enjoy those 16 Amazon reviews.

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