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MUZZ 105:

Seminar in Ideological Gerrymandering

Censorship of Outside Speakers

Students at numerous universities attempted to exclude certain viewpoints from being heard on their campuses in 2015. Such efforts do all members of the community a disservice by stifling open debate and the ability of others to hear and challenge controversial ideas. One constant feature of this category of campus censorship is that it is embraced by students of all political ideologies. Outside speakers were challenged in equal number by the right and left, and while not all attempts were ultimately successful, each served to diminish free speech principles on their respective campuses.


Commencement speakers were challenged and/or disinvited at Southern Illinois University–Carbondale (Bruce Rauner), the University of North Texas (Greg Abbott), Kean University (Common), Le Moyne College (Timothy Dolan), and St. John Fisher College (Rudolph Giuliani). Elsewhere, students and faculty alike attempted to prevent invited guests from participating in campus events at Williams College (Suzanne Venker), the University of California–Berkeley (Nicholas Dirks), Saint Louis University (Robert McCulloch), Duke (Asra Nomani), Texas Tech University (Angela Davis), Oberlin College (Christina Hoff Sommers), Harvard (Robin Steinberg), UCLA (Cornel West), Alma College (Ben Carson), the University of Southern California (Luis Gutierrez), Princeton (Big Sean), and the University of Minnesota (Moshe Halbertal).

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