This week, a survey conducted by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education found that students on most major American college campuses both self-censor and support censoring opposing or controversial viewpoints on campus.
FIRE, along with the polling firm YouGov, asked more than 1,000 college students for their views on campus free speech — a project the organization called “the most comprehensive survey on students’ attitudes about free speech to date,”
The results are probably not surprising to most Daily Wire readers. Among those 1,250 students, a majority have censored their viewpoint during classroom discussions. A similar majority of 56% believes that colleges — and in particular, student bodies — should have the right to ban or dis-invite controversial speakers.
Students who claimed to lean liberal supported banning controversial speakers by a whopping 19% over their conservative peers. Sixty percent of Republican and conservative students believed that they should not have to encounter routine protests on campus, compared to only 28% of Democrats.
But that doesn't mean conservative student are off the hook, either. According to the report, 60% of all students said it was more important to feel that their academic environment was safe and inclusive, rather than to feel their institution of higher education was open to discussing ideas that might be controversial or offensive.
College students as a whole also took a dim view of Constitutional rights. The study found that 48% of all students felt that hate speech should not be covered by the First Amendment, and 13% believe hate speech is the equivalent of physical violence.
Only 46% said they believed the Supreme Court was right in including offensive and disquieting speech under the protection of the First Amendment.
FIRE does say that there is a clear "partisan divide" among students who view speech as a priority on campus, but cautioned that both parties — and both political persuasions — are guilty of censorship.