College president stands up for freedom of speech

College president stands up for freedom of speech

It’s not often you hear about university administrations standing up to liberal speech code intimidation on campus, but the University of Rhode Island’s president has.

The Student Senate was preparing to interdict the campus College Republican group for “hate” speech or just unacceptable speech. The GOP group had offered in the campus newspaper a satirical scholarship of $100, but only “white, heterosexual, American males” were eligible. They intended it as a satirical commentary on the many scholarships that are granted on the basis of race and sex.

The Student Senate was not amused.

Nonetheless, the Student Senate demanded that the College Republicans issue a written apology. The group declined, but offered to publish an explanation of the advertisement.

According to a report in the student paper, URI President Robert Carothers has ordered the student government to end its efforts to get an apology from the College Republicans.

In a memo sent to the governing body Carothers said, “You are hereby directed, therefore, that you may not impose any sanctions on the College Republicans, or any other student group, that requires them to make public statements which are not their own.”

Still, the Student Senate is set to vote on the committee recommendation Wednesday. Senate President Neil Leston wouldn’t offer his position on the issue, but said he hoped to reach a positive resolution.

Campus speech codes stifle debate, but those who defend academic freedom the loudest when something truly offensive is said by a student or professor are strangely silent, as they always are, when the target is conservatives.

Kudos to President Carothers for standing up to the forces of totalitarianism on his campus.

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1 comment
  • Oh, Hail to thee my Alma Mater!!!

    URI was way off the deep end, even when I graduated in 1984.  I think it is called the CNN Christian Ammanpoor (URI’85) effect.

    Great post, Dom.