University Free Speech Chair Slams Campus Censorship


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Rob Shimshock Education Reporter
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The chair of a university Free Speech Task Force bashed censorship on campus and is planning to create content and events pertaining to free speech.

“Censoring, just banning someone on campus and saying we consider you dangerous because of your ideas, because of [sic] what you said doesn’t have a lot of educational value,” said Glenn Geher, Chair of the Free Speech Task Force at State University of New York (SUNY) New Paltz, according to The New Paltz Oracle. “This is a place where all voices can be heard, even if some of them are unpleasant.”

The cancellation of SUNY’s debate with Accuracy in Media (AIM) director of investigative journalism Cliff Kincaid, yet again put the university at the center of the national discourse about free speech on college campuses.

“What I find troubling, which people don’t seem to be talking about that much, is what is the point of bringing people who are essentially hate mongers to a college campus?” said SUNY sociology professor Anne R. Roschelle. “I disagree with the idea of a university spending money on someone [sic] is a known hate monger.”

The discussion was cancelled after Roschelle complained about Kincaid’s participation during a conversation over faculty email. The would-be debaters were paid $7,500 in total for the unexpected cancellation. The sociology professor later said that she supported the expression of “different perspectives.”

“I have a couple of problems with [faculty resistance to speakers]; one is that makes this presumption that students aren’t bright enough to come up with their own opinions,” said Geher, in response. “If we’re doing a good job educating students, they should be able to listen to something like that and if there are genuine problems with their argument or if the student is concerned about what they’re saying, then they should be able to process it and argue back.”

Geher’s Free Speech Task Force has already hosted events on campus, one of which was a talk by Dr. Jonathan Haidt on victimhood culture, safe spaces, and political correctness.

Resources offered by SUNY New Paltz’s Free Speech Task Force can be accessed here.

UPDATE: The debate involving Kincaid was rescheduled for and went off at a later date.

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