Friday, February 20, 2015

Universities Are Right—and Within Their Rights—to Crack Down on Speech and Behavior.

The writer states “ If students want to learn biology and art history in an environment where they needn’t worry about being offended or raped, why shouldn’t they?”

Rape is already against the law but giving offense is not a crime and not sure why it’s bundled together with a violent felony. Offensive speech is still protected speech unless it is a pattern of harassment. I hate that public universities accept taxpayer dollars but deny their students free speech on campus.


  1. I can't do any better than the current top comment.

    "There's so much wrong with this I don't know where to begin."

  2. "College students are still children. Not in terms of age, but in terms of maturity."

    I wonder why that is, you overprotective kindergarten teacher.

  3. One of the commenters pointed out that it's actually students who are so keen to deny their classmates free speech and universities often cave to their demands, even when they also accept taxpayer dollars. This is the generation that shuts down any guest speaker they do not like, even though attendance at these events is entirely optional. There's even a phrase for it - Disinvitation Season. The same generation that wants trigger warnings on Shakespeare's plays. In NYC's community college system, they are forbidden to address people as "Mr." or "Ms." because that's oppressive to people who do not identify as male or female. U. of Michigan has banned terms such as "crazy" and "insane" and "ghetto" presumably because these terms are deemed offensive or hurtful by other students. I guess it makes sense to their generation. To me it seems pretty oppressive and in some cases, actually unconstitutional.

  4. It wasn’t just a commenter who pointed out that students demanded speech codes, it was the author himself:

    “While critics sometimes give the impression that lefty professors and clueless administrators originated the speech and sex codes, the truth is that universities adopted them because that’s what most students want.”

    Several commenters called him out for presenting that argument without supporting evidence. Some pointed out that fear of involvement with the Department of Education or Office of Civil Rights is a big factor, and I think that’s plausible. The fear is that if “the school” does not curtail harassing speech, it may be seen as complicit.

    Some commenters proposed that Posner’s article was satire. I myself am not so sure that it is, but I do think that he is not in favor of the codes as they are at some places.

    Posner writes, “If college students are children, then they should be protected like children.” I think he wants the reader to respond “If.”

    Or more completely, “College students are not children, and they should not be protected like children.” Bloody well right.