New Survey Reveals Students Are Worried About Speaking Their Mind on Campus

by Brandon Poulter


The Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE) released a survey Wednesday that revealed a hostile free speech environment at colleges and universities.

Among students, 56% expressed concern about their reputation being damaged because of someone misunderstanding something they’ve said or done, according to the survey. The survey also revealed that attempts to de-platform speakers that students don’t like at the worst five campuses for speech had an 81% success rate and that de-platformings are on the rise on campuses, with 52 incidents in 2022, up from 36 in 2021.

“Some of the most prestigious universities in our country have the most repressive administrations. Students should know that a college degree at certain schools may come at the expense of their free speech rights,” FIRE Director of Polling and Analytics Sean Stevens said in a press release.

Among students, 26% said they censor themselves a few times a week in conversations, and 25% said they’re more likely to censor themselves than they were when they started college, according to the survey.

The top five best colleges for free speech were Michigan Technological University, Auburn University, the University of New Hampshire, Oregon State University and Florida State University, according to the survey. The bottom five worst colleges were Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of South Carolina, Georgetown University and Fordham University, according to the survey.

“Each year, the climate on college campuses grows more inhospitable to free speech,” Stevens said in the press release.

The survey was conducted by FIRE and College Pulse, a survey research and analytics company, and surveyed over 55,000 students at 248 colleges and universities around the country, according to the press release.

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Brandon Poulter is a reporter at Daily Caller News Foundation. 




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