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TFAS Free Speech Panel Discusses ‘Clash of Ideas on Campus’


TFAS President Roger Ream opens the discussion. Watch the full video on C-SPAN.

Congressional staffers and campus administrative groups gathered on Capitol Hill on Thursday, June 28 to attend “The Clash of Ideas on Campus,” a TFAS and the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities co-sponsored panel on the state of the First Amendment at our public universities.  The thoughtful discussion tackled the complex free speech issues confronting our universities including administrators’ and government’s role in protecting our First Amendment rights and what to do when campus speakers aim to sow discord, rather than advance a meaningful dialogue.

Have that fight and that debate; win the argument – that’s the best way to effect long-term change.” – Stephen F. Hayes, TFAS Alumnus
Editor-in-Chief of the Weekly Standard

Following the discussion, audience members had the opportunity to pose their own questions to the panelists.

Panelist Stephen F. Hayes (AIPES 94, Novak 00), TFAS alumnus and editor-in-chief of The Weekly Standard, warned about the slippery slope of putting students’ feelings ahead of free speech. Instead, Hayes encouraged students and school officials to foster environments where ideas are challenged, not regulated. “Have that fight and that debate; win the argument – that’s the best way to effect long-term change.”

Other panelists included Chancellor Howard Gillman of the University of California, Irvine; former UT Austin student body president Alejandrina Guzman; and President Richard Cohen of The Southern Poverty Law Center. Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Clarence Page of the Chicago Tribune moderated. You can watch the full discussion on C-SPAN.


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