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The Skeptics Are Wrong Part 2: Speech Culture on Campus is Changing

In this essay we show that the skeptics went wrong by basing their case primarily on GSS data about members of the Millennial generation. We explain why the debate hinges not on Millennials but on the generation after them––iGen, or Gen Z, who began replacing Millennials in college in 2013. We draw on a variety of datasets to show that iGen is different, and that there is indeed reason for concern that things are changing on campus. We address three questions: 1) Is the speech climate (i.e., willingness to speak up) worsening on college campuses, overall, in recent years? We show that it is. 2) Is there a “politically correct” range of viewpoints on campus? We show that there is. 3) Which side of the spectrum is more willing to use illiberal tactics? We show that left and right used to be similar, before 2015, in their desire to “disinvite” speakers, but since 2015 the right has used that tactic much less often while the left has used it much more often, and has also conducted all of the shout-downs that have occurred since 2015.  In conclusion, the skeptics are wrong.

A Tale of Two Columbia Classes

Of the seven philosophy courses I’ve taken at Columbia so far, not a single one has operated even close to this way––philosophy professors are always the first to point out logical weaknesses, strong counterarguments, and alternative points of view, even when they fundamentally agree with the course material. In this class, I got the sense that the professor was wedded to the material, such that a critique of the material would have been synonymous with a critique of her. As hyperbolic as this might sound, voicing a strong pushback against any idea that the Professor favored was nearly unthinkable.

The Campus Expression Survey: Summary of New Data

By Sean Stevens, HxA’s Research Director Back in July, I presented some preliminary data from our Campus Expression Survey (CES).  The CES was developed by members1 of Heterodox Academy in response to students and professors who say they feel like they are “walking on eggshells”, not just in the classroom but in informal interactions on campus..

Campus Conservatives Should Check Their Own Trolling

Nick Phillips, Research Associate at Heterodox Academy and President of the NYU School of Law Federalist Society, has a new piece in American Conservative on the need for Conservative campus groups to consider inviting more measured, academic speakers as opposed to provocateurs that inflame tensions and deepen tribalism.

The Heterodox Academy Guide to Colleges Helps Colleges Improve

While prospective students can use the Guide to Colleges to see where they may be most likely to encounter a variety viewpoints, college administrators are beginning to see the Guide as a barometer for the climate of intellectual diversity on their campus. In recent months, Heterodox Academy has spoken with several leaders at a range of schools to understand their strategies and highlight our Guide. In some instances, we have reconsidered rankings after learning about additional efforts made to facilitate and secure programs and platforms promoting viewpoint diversity.