Education benefits from an open learning environment, where students, faculty, and staff, can ask questions, express their ideas, and debate important issues. Contrary to this open environment, however, students and professors have been “walking on eggshells,” censoring their opinions and thereby depriving others and themselves the opportunity to learn from counterarguments and constructive debate. To learn more about this issue, Heterodox Academy created and validated the Campus Expression Survey (CES), which measures the extent to which students feel comfortable or reluctant discussing various topics on their campuses.
Each year since 2019, Heterodox Academy has administered this survey to a representative sample of U.S. college students and released a report of these findings. Specific questions that these reports address include: (a) Who is more reluctant to express their opinions? (b) Which topics are students reluctant to discuss? (c) What consequences do students fear if they speak their opinions and from whom do they fear these consequences (fellow students or professors)? In addition to answering these questions about the climate on U.S. college campuses each year, these survey responses also examine how these answers change from year to year.