(Daily360.com) – We’ve seen a rash of viral videos lately featuring students heckling, shouting down, and making it impossible for anyone perceived as ‘right wing’ from speaking on campuses. The Stanford Law School recently issued a 10-page memo rebuking the student activists who insulted and rudely forced a sitting federal judge to end his speech, earlier this year. This incident saw some federal judges vow not to hire any clerks graduating from Stanford Law. Cornel University the New York-based Ivy League institution of higher learning has followed suit. It issued a pledge last week vowing to make freedom of speech a key theme for the coming academic year. Late in 2022 videos surfaced of noted right-wing personality and Cornell alum Ann Coulter being shouted down and having to cut her speech short 7 minutes into the 30-minute allotment. Cornell says they want to have a variety of speakers, hold debates and challenge students and faculty to engage with people of varied perspectives and practice the tenants of academic freedom.
Martha E. Pollack, Cornell University President described this as “critical” to the mission of the university. She further stated freedom of expression is a thing worth defending and necessary for all to embrace. She called freedom of expression and academic freedom to debate and communicate across the spectrum the “bedrock” for both the school and our democracy as a whole. Her official announcement will come on April 19th but it is expected to include an emphasis on free expression, fair debate, and exhibitions highlighting free expression. The aim is to improve the perspective of students, leading them to engage rather than become enraged. Pollack also said she referred the students who disrupted Coulter to the Office of Student Conduct and described their rowdy behavior as a “really stupid move.” She also rejected a student proposal to include “trigger warnings” for “traumatic content” in course syllabi.
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