Free speech on campus has become a growing issue in the US and internationally as traditionally freer countries place more and more restrictions on speech. As students and journalists at the Claremont Colleges, we have seen the negative repercussions of this trend firsthand—in our classrooms, jobs, places of worship, and even in our coffee shops.

It’s sad what this culture has cost the colleges. We live in a community of bright, engaged students, but fear of radical left wing retribution too often stifles conversations before they start. We are fortunate to study under great professors but, going forward, the quality of many of our tenured faculty will be subject to how well a given professor fits into the Social Justice Warrior mold. Even our peers’ charitable efforts fall prey to the expanding reach of political correctness.

It’s our job as students to shape the community here on campus, but the administration has the power to set the tone and step in when our peers or teachers abuse their power. Too often, our administrations are compliant or even complicit in the destruction of our community’s cohesion and intellectual growth.

Yet last Thursday, President Chodosh and Dean Uvin stood up in favor of our rights in an email released to Claremont McKenna College’s student body and alumni. The email outlined the administration’s commitment to protecting free speech on campus, both inside and outside the classroom. By defending students’ and faculty members’ right to think and speak freely, Claremont McKenna College’s administration has made an important pivot away from the increasingly sensitive culture of censorship and toward a more positive academic community. This will serve students well both in Claremont and outside the bubble.

CMC’s announcement is a strong first step, and we’re hopeful that the administration will take this policy seriously in order to provide students with a well-rounded intellectual environment. We now call on the administrations at Pitzer College, Scripps College, Pomona College, and Harvey Mudd College to adopt the University of Chicago’s policies on speech as well. The Claremont Colleges have a great capacity to influence the world around us, but that can’t happen unless we are allowed to grow as thinkers and as people. We cannot overstate the importance of free expression on campus. Without it, education is impossible.

Steven Glick, Editor-in-Chief

Megan Keller, Publisher

Daniel Ludlam, Managing Editor

Categories: Editorial
  • Claremont Dependent

    ” negative repercussions” ” increasingly sensitive culture of censorship” ” fall prey to the expanding reach of political correctness” “fear of radical left wing retribution”

    So being called shady and being afraid of being judged?

    “community’s cohesion”

    So you’re saying the CI’s writers care about community cohesion despite the past year’s articles?!

    “intellectual growth” ” more positive academic community” “well-rounded intellectual environment”

    Does all of the above mean increased conservative views in the student body?

    • Jose Washington Pao Witherspoon, American

      CI’s writers are clearly the ONLY ones who care about cohesion. The campus crybullies who wrap themselves up on identity banners while spewing racial hatred and nonsensical screeds do not. Kudos to the Independent staff for upholding the liberal (truly liberal) traditions of speech, inquiry and debate that have produced the greatest flowering of mankind since we crawled out of our caves! You are not alone.

  • Freedom Writer

    Either PC universities allow for free expression of the first amendment, a critical requirement for higher education, or expect all federal funding and loans to be stripped from your campus. The far left does not get to enforce it’s authoritarianism on the campuses any longer without paying the price. Hire more conservative professors while your at it or there will be a class action suit to ensure a more balanced education is being offered instead of the leftist indoctrination that is sadly so typical. Students need to hold their red diaper doper baby professors and administrators accountable so that they stop producing snowflakes which have no possible path forward to making America great again.

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