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‘A Step in the Right Direction’

In an interview in the Dartmouth Review, George Mason law professor Todd Zywicki gives his two cents on FIRE’s successful effort to repeal Dartmouth’s speech code, which resulted in Dartmouth’s receiving a “green light with asterisk“ rating on

I think that Dartmouth’s repeal of its speech code is a step in the right direction. From that perspective, I was very pleased to see FIRE’s tentative steps in that direction. I think it’s also a first step. I think a next step is for Dartmouth, in both word and deed, is to unambiguously come out in favor of free speech. I would like to see Dartmouth as a leader on this issue in modern academia, to hold Dartmouth up as a model for freedom of speech and freedom of expression on college and university campuses. From that perspective, I think that what Dartmouth has done so far—I’m cautiously optimistic it is a good step in the right direction. I’d like to see us continue moving in that direction and build on that.

Zywicki, as veteran Torch readers know, is one of two “outsider” candidates just elected to Dartmouth’s Board of Trustees on a free-speech platform, beating out several candidates favored by the administration. I’m not sure killing an Ivy speech code is a “tentative” step—more like a cause for celebration—but I don’t think any of us disagree that there is more to be done at Dartmouth, not to mention the rest of the country. I mean, seriously—people think having a viewpoint can disqualify you from student government funding?

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