Even though Johns Hopkins University reduced Justin Park’s punishment and he now considers the matter resolved, the university is still taking hits in the press. Today, the Indiana Daily Student published an opinion piece criticizing Hopkins for ignoring the free speech rights of its students. Columnist Edward Delp discussed the Hopkins case and other similar incidents at neighboring schools by using FIRE’s Spotlight as a resource. He concluded by stating exactly why freedom of speech on college campuses is so important:
Institutions of higher education are supposed to promote the free exchange of ideas, but nowadays there seems to be a movement in academia to suppress speech that does not conform to a school’s ideas of “inclusion,” “diversity” and “tolerance.” While universities are supposed to maintain an environment in which everyone can feel free to express his or her ideas, modern academia is twisting this concept.
Some speech may offend people and some may make people angry, but that is the reality of the freedom of speech.
FIRE couldn’t have said it better. Johns Hopkins President William Brody could surely stand to learn a few things from the students at Indiana University.