Apparently university administrators no longer read George Orwell because they don’t seem to recognize how Orwellian their policies are. “Speech codes are almost never identified as such by the many colleges and universities that impose and enforce them. Instead, speech codes come in many forms, often with innocuous–sounding titles: ‘free speech zone’ policies that limit student or faculty expression to small, remote areas of campus; email policies that ban ‘offensive’ communication; civility policies that mandate politeness on pain of punishment; and—most commonly—overbroad, vague harassment policies that rely on subjective, amorphous definitions and thus restrict vast swaths of protected speech,” Greg Lukianoff, the president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), said in a congressional hearing earlier this month.
Lukianoff testified before the U. S. House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice on June 2, 2015. “For Forty Years, Religious Student Groups Frequently Have Been Discriminatorily Excluded from College Campuses,” Kim Colby of the Christian Legal Society testified in that same hearing. Kimberlee Wood Colby is the Director of the Center for Law and Religious Freedom at the Christian Legal Society.
“ ‘Harassment is making someone un-comfortable,’ students began asserting some 20 years ago,” attorney Wendy Kaminer testified before the committee. “‘That makes me a harasser,’ I’d respond, ‘since I strive to make at least a few people uncomfortable everyday,’” Kamner, a self-professed feminist, recalled.