Prez surprised and shocked that UF must allow free speech

In an email to the student body last week, University of Florida President Kent Fuchs expressed befuddlement at his recent discovery that the public university must allow free speech.

“If you are like me, I expect you are surprised and even shocked to learn that UF is required by law to allow Mr. Spencer to speak his racist views on our campus,” Fuchs wrote in a statement alerting students that Richard Spencer, a prominent white nationalist, will be visiting campus on October 19.

Spencer was originally scheduled to speak in September, and Fuchs initially defended the event under university regulation 2.004 which states that “non-university groups, organizations, and persons may rent space on campus, provided they cover rental expenses and security costs like all other third-party renters.” Several days later, however, Fuchs announced that the event would be cancelled due to safety concerns.

[RELATED: Florida prof tries to hide identity while protesting ‘hate speech’]

After being threatened with a federal lawsuit, however, UF backed down and agreed to host Spencer in October, prompting Fuchs to implore the school community to simply deny Spencer the attention he seeks, rather than trying to shut down the speech.

“First, do not provide Mr. Spencer and his followers the spotlight they are seeking,” Fuchs instructed, assuring readers that “by shunning him and his followers we will block his attempt for further visibility.”

Simultaneously, though, he also said the school should “not let Mr. Spencer’s message of hate and racism go unchallenged,” urging students and faculty members to attend a series of events crafted in response to the controversy, which began with an October 11 panel titled, “A Conversation on the First Amendment.”

[RELATED: STUDY: Majority of college students hostile to free speech]

During that conversation, UF Law Professor Kenneth Nunn declared himself a “First Amendment radical,” asserting that he doesn’t “think there is any such thing as free speech,” that “words can and do hurt,” and that UF should take action to “confront hate speech” beyond merely promoting a "marketplace of ideas."

Nunn also asserted that hateful speech can inflict “significant harms” on those targeted by it, including physical harms.


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Prof Faculty not students should decide who speaks on campus

Mark Edmundson, a professor of English at the University of Virginia, argues that faculty members, not students, should “decide who gets to speak on campus.”

In an op-ed for The Chronicle of Higher Education Sunday, Edmundson asserts that recent speaking events featuring conservative provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos and conservative commentator Ben Shapiro have shown that universities have no way to properly respond to such lectures, noting that there is little for progressives to gain by either shutting down or ignoring such speakers.

Yet he also believes that responding to their speech with more speech would be ineffective, saying, “there’s something demeaning about a credentialed professor going toe to toe with an entertainer—and something risky about challenging a speaker as smooth on his feet as Yiannopoulos.”

[RELATED: ‘Free Speech Week’ ends early amidst potential lawsuit]

“The Berkeley Battle ended quickly, but a war is looming,” he continues, referencing the premature end to UC Berkeley’s Free Speech Week last month. “For years the extreme right has been looking for ways to get its ideas heard on campuses and to make universities look like what it takes them to be, bastions of intolerant liberals.”

While Edmundson carefully underscores that he is “not against Yiannopoulos and company having the right to speak,” he advocates against the type of financial and institutional support that such speakers receive from schools.

“Shouldn’t universities sponsor scholars, scientists, and artists, as well as bona fide statesmen and women?” He asks. “One could not reasonably say that Yiannopoulos qualifies as any one of those.”

According to the professor, a good way to avoid having speakers such as Yiannopoulos and Shapiro is to eliminate the power of students to invite them in the first place.

“Free Speech Week was sponsored by a student group, and yet it seems to me an open question whether students should be allowed to issue such invitations,” he writes. “It’s an honor to be asked to speak at a university, and I think it should be reserved for authentically accomplished men and women, not entertainers.”

[RELATED: STUDY: Majority of college students hostile to free speech]

“University speaker programs are an extension of the intellectual

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Student gov moves to denounce College Republicans event

The California State University, Fullerton student government is considering a resolution officially denouncing an upcoming College Republicans event on campus.

The CR chapter is set to host conservative provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos on Halloween, prompting the CSUF Associated Students, Inc. (ASI) Board of Directors to approve the resolution as a demonstration of its commitment to “supporting marginalized communities on campus.”

[RELATED: Students fear ‘militarized environment’ when Milo comes to CSUF]

Asserting that Yiannopoulos “has put students in jeopardy by publicly sharing information regarding their gender and citizenship status,” the resolution also notes that previous Yiannopoulos events have required other public universities in the state to expend five- and six-figure sums on security.

More tellingly, the resolution also states that “over [sic] 5,000 student and community members have signed a petition ‘No Alt-Right Speakers or Hate Groups at CSUF,’” after which it proceeds directly to articulating its denunciation of Yiannopoulos, adding that by doing so, “ASI will continue to uphold its previously passed resolutions by supporting marginalized communities on campus.”

[RELATED: CSUF student gov rejects free speech education campaign]

According to a press release from the CR chapter, members of Students for Quality Education, an unregistered left-winged organization funded by the California Faculty Association, endorsed the resolution at an ASI meeting Thursday, and a final vote is scheduled to take place on October 24.

CR members say that regardless of one’s opinion of Yiannopoulos, the resolution represents “another disappointing attack on conservatives and the freedom of speech from CSUF's student body, faculty, and student government.”

“This is about freedom of speech. With a vote to denounce Milo, ASI is sending a signal to conservatives that their voices don’t matter and are not represented,” said CR President Amanda McGuire. “Conservative voices are, once again, the first to be silenced. ASI has remained neutral for this long and any deviance from their prior stance would show the student body that conservatives are excluded.”

[RELATED: CSUF lecturer suspended for attacking conservative student]

“Organizations on my campus are seeking to define

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WM prez rebukes students who shouted down ACLU event

The President of the College of William & Mary sharply reprimanded student protesters who shut down a recent ACLU event on campus, promising “disciplinary consequences” for future disruptions.

As reported by Campus Reform, Black Lives Matter at W&M successfully shut down an event hosted by William and Mary Alma Mater Productions (AMP) and the American Civil Liberties Union that was intended as “an open discussion of the rights of college students” where attendees could learn “more about what our individual rights and liberties are.”

[RELATED: Berkeley student paper: ‘heckling is a form of free speech’]

“Silencing certain voices in order to advance the cause of others is not acceptable in our community,” W&M President Taylor Reveley said in a preliminary statement on September 29. “This stifles debate and prevents those who’ve come to hear a speaker, our students in particular, from asking questions, often hard questions, and from engaging in debate where the strength of ideas, not the power of shouting, is the currency.”

Reveley elaborated on those sentiments in a follow-up statement on October 12, saying that “there are many viable ways for protests to occur at William & Mary,” but that “emphatically not among preventing an invited speaker from making her remarks and then preventing her from engaging in informal dialogue with members of the audience.”

Indeed, while the statement acknowledges the “rich history of protests in the United States,” even noting that protests “can be instrumental in pushing our society to change in crucial ways,” it also points out that the demonstrators were given ample opportunity to communicate their message alongside the invited speakers.

“The protestors were offered the opportunity to read a statement, which they did. They were then asked to let the speaker continue,” Reveley recounted. “Again, they drowned her out. And when some students from the audience gathered around her on the stage in an effort to talk informally, the student protestors formed a circle around them and shouted them down too.”

[RELATED: STUDY: Majority of college students hostile to free speech]

Reveley then went on highlight the futility of such demonstrations, pointing out that they offer little benefit to either s

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Clemson instructor offers to do graphic design for Antifa

A Clemson University teaching assistant recently offered to help a local Antifa organization “produce zines, posters, etc. to help the cause.”

Upstate Antifa, an “anti-fascist action” group based in upstate South Carolina, drew headlines in February when posters openly advocating for violence and vandalism were found plastered across Clemson’s campus bearing the group’s name.

Now, one Clemson University Graduate Teacher of Record (GToR), Brian Gaines, is offering to create advertisements and texts at the specific direction of Upstate Antifa.

[RELATED: Antifa group openly promotes violence, vandalism at Clemson]

In a recent Facebook post, Upstate Antifa outlined several “ways to help if you are unwilling/unable to physically fight,” directing supporters to “Spread this around fucking everywhere.”

“We aren't glitter bombing Nazis. We aren't throwing flour on them. We definitely aren't going to peacefully shut them down,” Upstate Antifa proclaimed. “They want to kill us, they said so in Charlottesville. They made it very clear where they stand and how they plan on taking action. Their violence needs to be met with great force.”

Directing those who, “are not down to physically fight these fuckers,” to “stay off the front lines,” warning that “you'll get hurt and your pacifism will be a liability, resulting in others being hurt. Run support. We need more support.”

[RELATED: Anti-Trump UMich protesters use ‘privileged folx’ as shield]

Examples of the types of support being sought include “go to a street medic training,” “run jail support,” “learn how to securely (and correctly) doxx these people,” “write a zine about anti-fascism,” “HOST a street medic training,” “Become a legal observer,” and “organize food drives/pot lucks.”

If nothing else, the group implores supporters to “DONATE!” saying, “even $5 is almost 2 gallons of gas and is crucial to keeping us shutting down the fascists wherever they choose to go.”

“I am a graphic designer,” GToR Gaines wrote in response to the appeal, adding that he is “willing to prod

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