Take a close look at some of the university’s speech policies and you may feel like you’ve been transported back to East Germany or the USSR, where these regimes quashed dissent and were constantly listening for any contrary point of view.
UM’s campus conduct guide includes a “bias response team” that encourages students to report instances of speech they find offensive or troublesome. And guess what? They are relaying plenty of so-called abuses — anything that rubs against a campus culture that bows to political correctness.
Conservative students beware.
This framework serves to chill opposing views and has earned the university a federal lawsuit, filed earlier this month by a group called Speech First.
UM is an egregious example of how public institutions are limiting the free expression and debate of ideas — something that seems in opposition to the whole point of a college campus. And it is also creating a climate of suspicion on campus by encouraging students to spy on one another. They never know who they can trust.
According to the complaint: “The University’s disciplinary code prohibits ‘harassment’ and ‘bullying,’ and further increases the potential penalties if such actions were motivated by ‘bias.’ All of those concepts, as the University interprets and applies them, can capture staggering amounts of protected speech and expression.”
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