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Are campus groups suppressing free speech?




Amanda Gould (C), an American University student on a student government Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Task Force dealing with campus sexual assaults and violence, speaks with fellow students during a school forum about the issue at American University in Washington, DC, November 10, 2014.
Amanda Gould (C), an American University student on a student government Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Task Force dealing with campus sexual assaults and violence, speaks with fellow students during a school forum about the issue at American University in Washington, DC, November 10, 2014.
SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

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Author Judith Shulevitz sees a troubling trend spreading across the country’s college campuses: groups designed to protect the rights of a few while suppressing the free speech of everyone else.

In a recent op-ed for the New York Times, Shulevitz uses anecdotal evidence to point to the a rising oversensitivity to the issues of sexual assault victims, women and minorities. She contends that professors and students who voice an unpopular opinion run the risk of public shaming, campus protests and even dismissal.

Students at Northwestern University recently assembled in protest over an article by Professor Laura Kipnis about the sexual paranoia in daily campus life. Eric Baker,  with the campus group Men Against Rape and Sexual Assault organized the protest, and penned an open letter to the professor in the school paper.

Baker isn’t calling for Kipnis to step down, but it’s likely that she’s feeling pressure from school administration. KPCC reached out to Professor Kipnis to defend the article, but the request was declined.

Today on AirTalk, we look at the power of campus groups and the impact they have on open discourse at colleges.

Do powerful campus groups prevent opposing views from being shared?

Guests:

Judith Shulevitz, NYT contributor who penned the Op-ed “In College and Hiding from Scary Ideas”

Jill Filipovic, senior political writer for cosmopolitan.com and frequent speaker and commentator on gender, political and legal issues

Erik Baker, programming chair for Men Against Rape and Sexual Assault at Northwestern University