On college campuses across the country, free speech is one of hottest topics.
Conservative students and faculty say their First Amendment rights are threatened by a “politically correct” dominant campus culture that seeks to silence dissent, while others say the larger society’s embrace of “hate speech” is part of a system intended to subjugate people of color and other marginalized groups and that it shouldn’t be sanctioned on campus or anywhere else.
Clashes between the two points of view have been big news, most notably last year on the University of California-Berkeley campus. At the University of Wisconsin-Madison, protesters’ interruption of a presentation by conservative commentator Ben Shapiro helped fuel a debate that led the UW System Board of Regents to adopt a policy to expel students who disrupt others’ speech.
So what should the limits of free speech on campus be, if any?
The Cap Times has assembled an outstanding panel to discuss that question at Madison’s Central Library, 201 W. Mifflin St., on Wednesday, March 14. Higher education reporter Pat Schneider will moderate the panel, whose members are:
• Leslie Bow, UW-Madison professor of English and Asian American Studies
• Ricardo Cortez de la Cruz, UW-Madison student and activist
• Madeline Heim, editor in chief of The Daily Cardinal
• Jake Lubenow, chair of College Republicans of UW-Madison
• Don Moynihan, director of the La Follette School of Public Affairs
The event is free and will run 7:30-8:30 p.m. in the library’s third-floor meeting rooms. We hope to see you there. If you plan to go, please RSVP on our Facebook event page, though doing so is not required for attendance.
Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect changes in the panel. Moynihan joined the panel as of March 2, while UW-Madison political science Professor Howard Schweber was not be able to participate due to a scheduling conflict.