On Friday morning, Pomona College President Gabrielle Starr sent an email to the student body announcing the results of a Gallup survey on student and faculty perceptions of speech and campus climate conducted by a Task Force on Public Dialogue established by the college’s board of trustees. The survey found that nearly 90 percent of students surveyed believe that the campus climate prevents them from saying something others might find offensive.
The task force—which consists of trustees, faculty, the dean of students, and the junior and senior class presidents—was established to “look for ways for Pomona to be a leader in developing an educational model that speaks to the twenty-first century, and that does not just allow for free expression, but combines support of free speech and democratic ideals with a commitment to ensuring an equitable and inclusive environment for all students.”
The Gallup survey the task force commissioned—to which approximately 35 percent of Pomona students and 66 percent of Pomona faculty responded—asked respondents questions on political allegiance, demographics, attitudes toward speech on campus, and perceptions of campus climate.
Most students identified as liberal, with only 16 percent identifying as moderate and three percent identifying as conservative. Faculty figures were similar, with 14 percent of faculty identifying as moderate and four percent as conservative.
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Half of Pomona students thought that colleges should restrict certain types of speech, and another half thought that students should be exposed to all types of speech. Nationally, students were 27 percent more likely to support all types of speech. Faculty were also more open to free speech, with 63 percent supporting colleges prioritizing exposing students to all types of speech.
Twenty five percent of students thought that the college should be able to restrict political views that are “offensive,” while only 15 percent of faculty supported this restriction. Less than half of faculty supported restricting costumes that “stereotype certain racial or ethnic groups,” while 65 percent of students supported such restrictions.
On attitudes toward current speech policies, 28 percent of Pomona students thought the policies were not restrictive enough, while only 13 percent of faculty thou
Read more: https://www.campusreform.org/?ID=10922