Knight Foundation and College Pulse Release Report on Free Expression on College Campuses

May 15, 2019

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Title: Free Expression on College Campuses

Source: Knight Foundation and College Pulse

A new report by College Pulse, with support from the Knight Foundation, examines student attitudes on freedom of expression and inclusion on college campuses, building upon the findings from an earlier study released in 2018.

The survey found that students are divided on which is more important: freedom of expression or inclusivity. Students generally agree in broad protections for speech, even at the expense of inclusivity.

However, the survey also found varying views on the issue across race and ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, and political affiliation. According to the report, women, Democrats, and students from underrepresented populations indicated higher levels of support for inclusivity over free expression, while Whites, Republicans, and men were more likely to prioritize free speech rights.

Recent events both nationwide and on college campuses have often pitted the values of diversity, inclusion, and freedom of expression against each other, when in fact they should be mutually reinforcing. ACE has created a range of resources for higher education leaders on the intersection of campus inclusion and free expression, including content to help build awareness and understanding of the opportunities and challenges in balancing these tensions, all produced with support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. You can find this content here.

—Ben Schaap

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