Are Our Universities The World’s Least Free?

, Malcolm A. Kline, Leave a comment

We used to look at universities in other nations as an example of what could happen if we lose first amendment rights on campus. Now they might be looking at us as a worst-case scenario. “The most concerning aspect of the current debate about free speech in Australian universities has been the complacent attitudes of Australian higher education leaders,” Jeremy Sammut of the Centre for Independent Studies (CIS) writes. “During Bettina Arndt’s recent speech at Sydney University on ‘rape culture’, riot police had to be called onto the campus to allow the event to proceed, after security guards were overwhelmed by demonstrators blocking audience members from attending the venue.”

“However, according to Sydney Vice-Chancellor, Michael Spence, the demonstration allegedly showed that ‘free speech is alive and well’ in universities; the student demonstrators were supposedly exercising their legitimate right to protest and engage in counter-free speech.”

“In reality, the violent scenes of verbal and physical abuse witnessed were an example of the ‘no platforming’ phenomena prevalent in North America, which has seen numerous so-called controversial speakers banned and prevented from speaking on university and college campuses because their views are deemed ‘offensive’ or ‘hurtful’ to some students.”