Intelligence Squared U.S. (IQ2US) will bring some of the of the country’s most interesting thinkers on issues of higher education, law, and culture together at Yale University on March 1 as they debate whether “Free Speech Is Threatened on Campus.”
Lawyer and writer Wendy Kaminer—who is also a longtime friend of FIRE—will argue for the motion, alongside Columbia University linguistics professor John McWhorter. Arguing against the motion will be Shaun Harper, Executive Director of the Center for the Study of Race & Equity in Education at the University of Pennsylvania, and Yale philosophy professor Jason Stanley.
The prompt for the debate:
Protests have erupted on university campuses across the country. To many, these students are speaking out against racial injustice that has long been manifested in unwelcoming, sometimes hostile environments. But to critics, their demands have gone too far, creating an atmosphere of intolerance for opposing or unpopular points of view. Are the protestors silencing free speech, or are they just trying to be heard? And are the universities responding by defending free speech, or by suppressing it?
IQ2US polls attendees about their stance on the issue before and after the debate to determine a winner and get a better sense of just how persuasive panel members were.
Do you think free speech is threatened on campuses? Cast your vote now, and then check out the results once the debate is over to see how opinions did (or didn’t) change.
As of this writing, 90 percent of those polled think free speech is indeed under threat. On the fence? You can check out FIRE’s Spotlight database, or our award-winning news page, The Torch, and decide for yourself.
If you’ll be in New Haven for the debate, tickets are available to the general public for $20. While students at any institution attend free with a valid student ID, reserving tickets in advance is highly recommended.
You can watch the debate live on Intelligence Squared’s website.