Institute of Urban Policy

Discussion panel on free speech & higher education draws crowd

Tue, November 7, 2017
Discussion panel on free speech & higher education draws crowd

IUPRA recently co-hosted a very timely Opportunity Forum event with the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement, Free Speech on College Campuses: Where to Draw the Line? The panel discussion was very well attended with standing room only, and created many conversations related to free speech and higher education.

Panelists kicked off the event by discussing last year’s scandalous affirmative action-based bake sale held by the Young Conservatives of Texas here at UT, and whether the event should be considered hate speech. Other topics discussed included whether or not safe spaces and trigger warnings have changed from their original design to coddle students too much, the difference between regulating political speech and regular speech, the amount of free speech held by different groups of people, whether or not students are more reluctant to engage in debate with people of differing views, and collegiate Greek organizations holding racists themed parties. The discussion wrapped up with ideas to encourage free debate and questions from the audience. 

Audience questions included topics such as free speech versus academic speech, social media and internet bullying, the role of educators to educate students on being effective debaters, and others.

DDCE Interim-Vice President Dr. Leonard Moore served as moderator to the panel, which included IUPRA Director Dr. Kevin Cokley and IUPRA Associate Director Dr. Shetal Vohra-Gupta, as well as Doctoral Student Brianna Davis, Journalism Professor Robert Jensen, Law Professor H.W. Perry Jr., and Texas ACLU Director of Political Strategies Sharon Watkins Jones. 

Bookmark and Share