Colorado State University Sign Directs Students 'Affected By a Free Speech Event' To Seek Help
"If you (or someone you know) are affected by a free speech event on campus, here are some resources..."
Colorado State University wants students to know that if they are "affected by a free speech event," they are not alone. There are resources available. They can get help.
That's according to a sign spotted on campus by a coordinator for Turning Point USA, a conservative student group. The university confirmed that the sign is real. It reads: "If you (or someone you know) are affected by a free speech event on campus, here are some resources…"
The resources in question are phone numbers and websites for the Dean of Students, Office of Equal Opportunity, CSU Health Network Counseling, Ombuds (for CSU employees), Multicultural Counseling, Employee Assistance Program, Vice President of Inclusive Excellence, Victim's Assistance Hotline, Bias Reporting hotline, and several others.
Those last two provide means for aggrieved students to summon the campus authorities to investigate their alleged mistreatment. CSU's bias reporting form asks that submissions include identifying details—including identification number, phone number, and residence hall—about the perpetrator so that school officials can track them down.
The university did not respond to a request for comment, but provided the following statement to Fox News:
"CSU is committed to Free Speech as both a legal protection and a foundation of the robust debate that is core to higher education," a spokesperson for CSU told Fox News in a statement. "We also recognize the power of speech to impact people deeply, and we are committed to supporting all of our students. The sign is a list of some of the many resources available to our students. It is not related to any event in particular, but rather is intended to share resources knowing that protected speech will always, and must always, be part of higher education."
By suggesting that one student exercising free speech rights should prompt another student to fill out a bias incident report, the university is undermining public confidence in its commitment to the principles of the First Amendment—principles that CSU, as a public institution, is bound to follow.
The sign is already being widely mocked in conservative news media for playing into the delicate snowflake stereotype about modern college students. But sometimes, the shoe fits: Universities should not feel the need to offer investigative resources to students who were merely "affected by a free speech event."