by Makenna Graves

College is a time for young adults to soak in knowledge and engage in civil debate and discussion.  College is also a time to be exposed to new perspectives and different backgrounds, and is often a steep learning curve from jumping from a comfortable home and familiar community to a completely new environment.  And while college is a time for new experiences, one of the new experiences shouldn’t be a silenced opinion.

Every day, students like me go through experiences involving fellow students, professors, and even the administration silencing our voices because of our political and religious views. 

To combat this, colleges, including my own, have adopted the “Statement on Principles of Free Expression” designed by the University of Chicago.  UChicago’s president Robert Zimmer says, “We have an obligation to see that the greatest variety of perspectives is brought to bear on issues before us as scholars and citizens.” 

Commonly referred to as the “Chicago Principles,” the statement emphasizes a commitment to secure a college environment in which freedom of expression flourishes.  Over 55 colleges and universities have now adopted the “Chicago Principles.”  The overwhelming number of signees encouraged President Trump to recently sign an executive order protecting a college student’s right to freedom of expression.

In the June 2019 issue of Reason magazine, two professors, Debra Mashek and Jonathan Haidt, compiled a list of liberty-minded universities that are exceeding our expectations in protecting our fundamental right to free speech on college campuses.

Here are a few of those colleges:

University of Chicago located in Chicago, Illinois

Arizona State University located in Tempe, Arizona

Claremont McKenna College located in Claremont, California

Kansas State University located in Manhattan, Kansas

Kenyon College located in Gambier, Ohio

Linn-Benton Community College located in Albany, Oregon

St. John’s College located in Annapolis, Maryland

University of Richmond located in Richmond, Virginia

Purdue University located in West Lafayette, Indiana

Makenna Graves is a 2019 Summer Fellow.