Thursday, December 08, 2005

Academic Discourse Silenced

In another example of speakers silenced at universities Ann Coulter has heckeled at UConn to the point where she had to cancel her speech.

Conservative columnist Ann Coulter gave up trying to finish a speech at the University of Connecticut on Wednesday night when boos and jeers from the audience became overwhelming. Coulter cut off the talk after 15 minutes and instead held a half-hour question-and-answer session.


Eric Knudsen, a 19-year-old sophomore journalism and social welfare major at UConn, didn't attend the speech.

"We encourage diverse opinion at UConn, but this is blatant hate speech," said Knudsen, head of Students Against Hate.

I'm sure he knows it's hate speech, considering he skipped the event. However, with the trend on college campuses to silence critical debate it's no wonder this student skipped Coulter's speech. Even if he would have gone he wouldn't have heard it anyway.

This is disgraceful. Why no reaction from the university? Is this not the silencing of free speech?

To harass UConn would be unfair, though, as professors at institutions like Iowa State University have also made attempts to limit academic debate. It's not good.

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