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Free Speech and Due Process Issues at Harvard University 

In a 2021 survey, Harvard University students gave the following testimonials:


“I felt that I could not express some of my political ideals because they were not aligned with the campus majority.” —  Male, Hispanic/Latino, somewhat liberal, self-censors fairly often.


“In contentious discussions about racism over the summer, many people were expressing incredibly far-left views that I disagree with, but did not share my disagreement so I wouldn’t be called out or canceled.” —  Female, Asian, slightly liberal, self-censors fairly often. 


“I tend to keep my personal opinions to myself all the time, because I’d rather avoid the fallout from students and faculty that shape my learning environment for the next few years.” — Male, Black, moderate, self-censors fairly often.


These statements reflect a chilled campus culture at Harvard, where speech-restrictive policies foster a climate in which students from a wide range of backgrounds and perspectives do not feel comfortable expressing themselves. In order for the widest range of students to participate fully in discourse and educational opportunities, Harvard should investigate its practices to ensure they encourage robust free speech; implement an orientation program to foster open discussion, thought experimentation and devil’s advocacy; and amend its policies to reflect those goals. FIRE is happy to advise and assist with this process as requested.

Executive Summary and Recommendations 

While Harvard University has admirably committed in official policy to upholding students’ and faculty members’ free speech and academic freedom rights, Harvard must take further steps to truly safeguard these rights on campus. As the following review of the policies and rights infringements at Harvard demonstrates, Harvard would do well to: 

  1. Safeguard free speech rights by fixing the restrictive speech codes detailed below. 

  2. Ensure the right to due process is protected by revising the disciplinary procedures detailed below. 

  3. Actively commit to free expression by affirming free speech rights when demands for censorship arise and adopting a statement on free expression, such as the Chicago Statement

  4. Teach free expression from day one by having independent faculty develop orientation programming that explains the philosophy that undergirds freedom of speech, freedom of inquiry and academic freedom, or by adopting FIRE’s orientation materials

  5. Collect data on the climate for free speech, open discussion and the right to dissent at Harvard. 

  6. Investigate to make sure that Harvard administrators are not encouraging an environment in which students and professors have to fear for their academic careers for speaking their mind or following where their research takes them. 


FIRE stands ready to assist the university in taking these steps.


Cases of Individual Rights Violations at Harvard


Harvard University: Blacklisting of Final Club, Fraternity, and Sorority Students


On May 6, 2016, Harvard University announced that members of independent, single-sex, off-campus organizations would be blacklisted from Rhodes and Marshall scholarships and banned from leadership of on-campus organizations or athletic teams. Starting in 2017, members of fraternities, sororities, and “final clubs” would begin to be denied these opportunities in an effort to foster “inclusion” and “address deeply rooted gender attitudes.” The organizations affected have been independent from Harvard since 1984, operate as off-campus entities, and do not receive any recognition or benefit from the university. FIRE strongly opposed Harvard University’s illiberal decision to sanction students involved in these organizations. As you know, the policy was rescinded in light of the Supreme Court’s decision in Bostock v. Clayton County.

Harvard University: Students requested to remove Nicki Minaj flag from suite window

On September 5, 2021, a Harvard undergraduate student tweeted a screenshot of an email from a college employee requesting that he and his suitemates remove a flag depicting a bikini-clad Nicki Minaj from their suite window because it might be considered offensive. On September 10, FIRE wrote to Harvard calling for the employee to rescind the request, explaining that the flag is protected speech and the request contravened Harvard’s commitment to free expression. Harvard did not respond to our letter, but FIRE identified what appeared to be the same flag hanging in a window of the residence hall later that month.


Scholar Sanctioning Incidents at Harvard 

FIRE’s Scholars Under Fire database documents the ways and reasons that scholars have faced calls for sanction; how scholars and institutional administrators have responded to different forms of targeting; and what (if any) sanctions scholars have ultimately faced in response to these targeting incidents, from 2015 to the present. In that time, 15 scholars were targeted, seven experienced some kind of adverse impact from that targeting (e.g., censorship, formal investigation, suspension, etc.)  and two were terminated or forced to resign.

While anyone is entitled to call for censorship, in most cases, an institution capitulating to such calls undermines its promises of academic freedom and freedom of expression. In every case, FIRE condemns calls to sanction scholars for their research and writing. 


a. Egregious examples: Kit Parker, Walter Willett, Frank Hu, Chirag Patel


Kit Parker: Harvard undergraduate and graduate students in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) sent a joint letter demanding, among other things, the cancellation of Kit Parker’s course, “Data Fusion in Complex Systems: A Case Study,” focused on evaluating the use of a policing technique known as Counter-Criminal Continuum policing, or C3, to disrupt gang and drug activity.


Also noteworthy is the spat involving Walter Willett and Frank Hu of Harvard on one side, and Chirag Patel of Texas A&M on the other. The chancellor of Texas A&M University sent a public letter of complaint to the president of Harvard demanding an investigation of Harvard faculty members Walter Willett and Frank Hu, who accused Texas A&M and its affiliates of being aligned with “big beef” over an article co-authored by Chirag Patel recommending that adults “continue current unprocessed red meat consumption.”


b. Further examples: 


  • 2017: Alumni petitioned the school to revoke Sean Spicer’s visiting fellowship status, as he served in the Donald Trump administration. 

  • 2017: Alumni petitioned the school to revoke Corey Lewandowski’s visiting fellowship status, as he served in the Donald Trump election campaign. 

  • 2018: Harvard Law alumni petitioned the school to remove Brett Kavanaugh after the sexual misconduct allegations against him came to light during his confirmation hearings. He voluntarily resigned his position. 

  • 2018: Roland Fryer was placed on suspension for two years, and his off campus research lab was closed because of sexually charged comments he was alleged to have made. He was reinstated at a later date.

  • 2019: Students demanded the removal of Ronald Sullivan from his post as dean of Winthrop House on the basis of his position on Harvey Weinstein’s defense team. The University demoted him.

  • 2020: Students and administrators demanded the removal of David Kane because of politically and racially charged comments he made on his personal blog. He was investigated by the University. 

  • 2020: Law students demanded an investigation of Adrian Vermeule and wanted the university to condemn him for various views he expressed on his personal twitter account.

  • 2020: Students and faculty called for revocation of Steven Pinker’s fellowship in the Linguistic Society because of his personal tweets and published works. (NOTE: this incident involved the Linguistic Society of America, not Harvard.)

  • 2021: Students demanded condemnation and censorship of J. Mark Ramseyer’s scholarly publication concerning Japanese “comfort women” during WWII. The paper was later retracted. (NOTE: this incident involved the International Review of Law and Economics, not Harvard.) (Disclosure: My [Harvey Silverglate] law firm represents professor Ramseyer.)


Student Sanctioning Incidents at Harvard


We are currently developing a database of incidents targeting students intended to parallel the Scholars Under Fire database, at least in spirit. While that project is ongoing, we have collected 17 examples of students or student groups on Harvard’s campus being targeted for their speech or expressive activity. 


a. Egregious examples: Bill Barlow, explicit memes, The Harvard Crimson, Kyle Kashuv


In 2016, Bill Barlow put up a poster comparing a group of student-activists to then-President Trump. His poster was removed, and he was summoned to a meeting with Harvard Law School’s dean of students, who told him the posters were offensive and he was not allowed to reference Trump in future posters due to Harvard Law School’s obligations as a tax-exempt entity under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The next day, the student-activists confronted Barlow as he was putting up new posters (without referencing Trump) and was told he could not do so without their pre-approval. He did so anyway, and the activists removed them once again. Barlow alerted the dean of students, who offered no assistance.


In 2017, Harvard rescinded offer letters to at least 10 students for sexually explicit memes and messages they shared in a private Facebook group chat.


In Fall 2019, The Harvard Crimson published an article about a campus rally protesting United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), noting that “ICE did not immediately respond to a request for comment…” Shortly thereafter, a group of student activists calling themselves “Act on a Dream” started an online petition demanding that the paper never again contact ICE, “apologize for the harm they inflicted on the undocumented community”, and “declare their commitment to protecting undocumented students on campus.”


In 2020, Parkland school shooting survivor Kyle Kashuv was admitted to Harvard. However, his offer would later be rescinded after derogatory and racist comments he made two years earlier (as a 16-year-old, months before the shooting) surfaced. The comments were reportedly shared with the Huffington Post by former high school classmates of Kashuv.


b. Further examples: 


  • 2016: Police investigated a hidden voice recorder found in a Harvard Law School building occupied by student activists.

  • 2016: The men’s soccer team had its season ended prematurely by the Athletics Director in response to sexist documents circulated among team members which became public. This disqualified them from competition for the remainder of the season, including from championship play.

  • 2016: The men’s cross country team was placed on probation and required to attend training after the Athletics Department became aware of sexist documents circulated among team members regarding the women’s cross country team.

  • 2016: An event featuring an anti-abortion guest speaker invited by the Law Students for Life and Harvard Black Law Students Association was disrupted by student protestors who heckled the speaker on account of his views. 

  • 2016: Emails leaked by an anonymous source reveal that a committee in the Adams House student housing at Harvard University rejected a 1950s-themed dance after several students claimed the theme was racist.

  • 2018: The Christian Faith and Action student group was condemned by other students for inviting an anti-LGBTQ speaker, and by the university for asking a member to resign because of her same-sex relationship. The group then experienced further sanction, being placed on probation by the university and facing calls from the Harvard Crimson for the university to cut their funding.

  • 2020: Harvard dismissed three anonymous students from dorms for hosting an indoor party.

  • 2020: Harvard Law School affiliates circulated a petition calling for the Law School Administrative Board to stop investigating three students (Amanda Chan, Anna Nathanson, and Felipe Hernández) involved in a silent protest organized by the Harvard Prison Divestment Campaign, a campus activist group.

  • 2021: A group of Harvard students writing for the revived student news publication, The Salient, refused to identify themselves by name, for fear of retribution.

  • 2021: The Harvard University Police Department investigated two incidents of vandalism at the Harvard Hillel building that occurred within two weeks of each other.

  • 2021: A petition demanded that the Harvard administration condemn Omar Barghouti, founder of the antisemitic Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign, who the Palestine Solidarity Committee invited to to participate in a discussion with Cornel West.

  • 2021: A University of Michigan-Flint professor filed a federal civil rights complaint against Harvard for hosting a performance of “Macbeth in Stride” that allowed only black patrons.

  • 2022: The president of the undergraduate council, Michael Cheng, was targeted with racist notes objecting to his presence on the council, seemingly on racial and personal grounds. 

Harvard’s Speech Codes


a. The “Free Speech Guidelines” should clarify conduct can only be punished when it is unprotected under First Amendment standards 


The Free Speech Guidelines from the Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences Resolution on Rights and Responsibilities, reproduced in the Harvard College Student Handbook, state that “[b]ehavior evidently intended to dishonor such characteristics as race, gender, ethnic group, religious belief, or sexual orientation is contrary to the pursuit of inquiry and education,” and that “[s]uch grave disrespect for the dignity of others can be punished under existing procedures because it violates a balance of rights on which the University is based.” This policy should be revised to make clear that such conduct is punishable only when it rises to the level of speech or conduct that is not protected under First Amendment standards, such as hostile environment harassment.


b. The “Publicity and Solicitation” policy should be revised to allow spontaneous and anonymous speech


The policy regulating “Publicity and Solicitation” from the Student Handbook states that the distribution of printed matter “on Harvard property” must be approved by the Dean of Students Office, and that “[f]or distribution of materials outdoors, all ISOs must register with the Dean of Students Office.” Requiring students to seek advance approval for any and all distribution of materials on campus does not represent a reasonable restriction on the “time, place, and manner” of expression. Further, forcing students to identify themselves to the administration in advance of distribution may have a chilling effect on the speech of students who wish to express themselves anonymously. The policy should be revised to allow for the spontaneous distribution of non-commercial materials on campus.


c. The “Free Speech and Expression” provision from the Recognized Student Organization Resource Guide should be revised to remove administrative burdens to spontaneous or controversial speech


Harvard’s Recognized Student Organization Resource Guide states that events requiring registration include those utilizing “[o]utdoor venues.” This policy would allow the administration to shut down any spontaneous expressive activity taking place in an outdoor venue — including anything from a five-person protest to one attracting 500 participants. Again, forcing students to obtain permission before conducting any event in an outdoor venue, regardless of the number of participants or the event’s potential to impact campus activities, is not a reasonable, narrowly tailored restriction. The policy should be revised to make clear that students can freely engage in spontaneous expressive activities. 


Of further concern, the Resource Guide also includes a provision that states that events with “High Profile, Controversial speakers, or VIP guests” are to be approved by the Dean of Students Office, without providing criteria for determining whether events or speakers qualify as such. Forcing students to undergo this additional administrative hurdle when speakers are subjectively considered “[c]ontroversial” is impermissible under First Amendment standards and may discourage students from inviting potentially controversial speakers. 


d. The “Report Bias” webpage should either limit its application to unlawful conduct or clarify that lawful conduct will not be investigated


The Harvard Foundation for Intercultural and Race Relations maintains a webpage for students to report “bias-related incidents” — an undefined designation. It is unclear whether students may be investigated or disciplined over reported incidents that are protected speech under First Amendment standards. As a result, this webpage may have a chilling effect on the speech of students, who may self-censor in order to avoid punishment. The policy should be revised to either serve as a reporting page for unlawful harassment and discrimination, or to clarify that reported incidents that do not constitute unlawful conduct will not be subject to investigation or punishment by the university, and that reports will instead be used to provide resources and support for affected students. 


e. Harassment policies should be revised to track the Davis standard


Harvard maintains several policies regulating harassment that do not sufficiently track the Supreme Court’s standard for student-on-student (or peer) harassment in the educational setting, set forth in Davis v. Monroe County Board of Education and adopted in recent Title IX regulations: “[u]nwelcome conduct determined by a reasonable person to be so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to the recipient’s education program or activity.”


For example, Harvard’s “Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment Policy” makes conduct punishable when it is “sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive” that it interferes with an individual’s participation in university activities, thus failing to require that conduct is “severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive.” 


The “Interim Other Sexual Misconduct Policy” includes an objective, “reasonable person” component in its definition of sexual misconduct, but still fails to require that conduct is both “severe” and “pervasive” per the Court’s standard from Davis, instead requiring that conduct is “severe, persistent, or pervasive.”


Harvard’s Student Handbook includes a policy on religious harassment that entirely fails to track the Court’s standard from Davis, stating that religious discussion is prohibited “when the educational and work environment of an individual or the community is jeopardized” before broadly defining harassment as “​​actions on the part of an individual or group that demean or abuse another individual because of religious beliefs or that continue after the affected individual has requested a termination of that type of discussion.” Under such a broad policy, mere teasing regarding a religious matter could be punished as harassment. 


All of Harvard’s policies regulating harassment must be revised to fully track the Supreme Court’s standard from Davis in order to prevent protected speech that has not reached the standard for harassment from being subject to punishment. 


The Discrimination and Bullying Policy Working Groups’ Draft Policies


a. The draft policies do not presently track the Davis standard


Like the above harassment policies, the draft “Harvard Non-Discrimination Policy” fails to sufficiently track the Supreme Court’s standard for peer harassment from Davis. Its definition of “[d]iscriminatory harassment” bans conduct a reasonable person would consider “sufficiently severe, pervasive, or persistent so as to interfere with or limit the ability of a student to participate in or benefit from the institution’s programs and activities,” rather than conduct that is both severe and pervasive. 


Likewise, the “Anti-Bullying Policy” defines bullying that violates the policy as conduct that is so “sufficiently pervasive, persistent, and/or severe” that a reasonable person would find that it creates an environment in which the student is excluded from participation in or denied the benefits of the university’s educational activities. The policy helpfully states, “Unless sufficiently pervasive, persistent and/or severe, a single act typically would not constitute bullying,” but it does not actually require both the “severe” and “pervasive” components of the Court’s standard from Davis in the controlling definition. 


b. The Anti-Bullying Policy examples encompass speech that does not rise to the level of harassment under Davis


Of further concern, the Anti-Bullying Policy provides a list of examples of behavior that bullying “may include,” such as “derogatory remarks, epithets, or ad hominem attacks that are outside the range of commonly accepted expressions of disagreement, disapproval, or critique in an academic community and professional setting that respects free expression.” It also states that the policy “encompasses abusive expression or ad hominem attacks,” and that examples include “[m]alicious comments about a person’s appearance, lifestyle, family, or culture.” 


Such examples, while typically constitutionally protected when standing alone, may indeed be a part of a pattern of conduct that constitutes unlawful hostile environment harassment. However, students reading the policy may assume any and all “abusive expression” or “malicious comments” are encompassed by the policy and thereby subject to punishment. Thus, this section of the policy may have a chilling effect on speech. A better way to present a list of examples is to clearly state that listed examples of conduct must rise to the level of the Court’s standard from Davis in order to be punishable as harassment.  

Due Process Issues in Disciplinary Procedures


a. Harvard’s procedures fail to provide a presumption of innocence, written notice of factual allegations, the ability to cross-examine witnesses, and other critical basic protections of due process


FIRE’s annual Spotlight on Due Process report rates the top 53 universities in the country based on 10 fundamental elements of due process identified by FIRE. In the most recent report, Harvard’s procedures earn only 3-out-of-a-possible-20 points, receiving an “F” grade. Notably, the procedures of the Honor Council lack protections as fundamental as a presumption of innocence, a live hearing with an opportunity to present evidence directly to the fact-finders, and the ability to cross-examine relevant witnesses. 


The Discrimination and Bullying Policy Steering Committee and Working Groups’ draft procedures mark a slight improvement over the procedures of the Honor Council mentioned above. For example, these draft procedures guarantee that respondents are presumed not to be responsible for alleged policy violations. They also adopt grounds for appeal listed in the Title IX procedures, which earn full points in the Spotlight on Due Process report.


Still, the draft Non-Discrimination and Anti-Bullying policies, which share the same procedures, contain several significant deficiencies. First, upon a determination at initial review that the complaint should be investigated, the procedures call for written notice to be sent to the complainant and respondent. The written notice “will include the identities of the parties, the name of the investigator, the nature of the allegations, and a summary of the process that will be followed.” Written notice should provide more information than the mere “nature of the allegations.” It is critical that both parties know the precise factual allegations that form the basis of the complaint as well as the particular policy violations being alleged. 


Of additional concern, the procedures outlined in the policies fail to provide the parties with a live hearing. Rather, at the conclusion of the investigation, “the investigator will make preliminary findings of fact, applying a preponderance of the evidence standard, and make a recommended finding as to whether there was a violation of the policy.” That report is then reviewed by a three-person panel, who will issue a written determination. This process is lacking, as it provides no opportunity for the parties to present their evidence directly to the fact-finders. Respondents have no opportunity to face their accuser or even to question their own witnesses. Instead, they are only able to submit written statements to the investigator at the beginning and end of the investigation, with no guarantee that the investigator will even interview witnesses who the respondent believes may be relevant to the investigation. 


Finally, as noted in the excerpted language above, these procedures only require that factual findings of a policy violation be supported by a preponderance of the evidence. In a process that lacks clear rules of evidence, the opportunity to present evidence directly to fact-finders, and the opportunity to cross-examine witnesses, a “preponderance of the evidence” standard simply fails to protect students against incorrect findings of guilt. A “clear and convincing” standard is necessary here. 


Disinvitations at Harvard


FIRE’s Disinvitation Database tracks the increased push by some students and faculty to “disinvite” speakers with whom they disagree from campus appearances. To the extent such incidents have slowed, it is likely a reflection that invitations to controversial speakers are becoming less common. A disinvitation, after all, presupposes an invitation. Nevertheless, Harvard has been the site of at least 11 attempted, and seven successful, disinvitations in the last two decades.


Harvard can fight disinvitations by fostering intellectual courage among its faculty and student body, consistently stating and adhering to its commitment to academic freedom, and encouraging offended parties to respond to speech they dislike with counterspeech. 


a. 11 attempted disinvitations at Harvard since 2002


  • 2002: Students and faculty demanded the disinvitation of Tom Paulin after discovering his views on Israel. (As noted previously, students and faculty have a right to urge disinvitation and other forms of censorship, but such practices denote a censorial intent. And, of course, officials must not succumb to such pressure.)

  • 2002: Students opposed the selection of Zayed Yasin as a commencement speaker because of his views on Israel and Islam.

  • 2005: Harvard students asked Students for Justice in Palestine to disinvite Norman Finkelstein, but they chose not to do so.

  • 2007: Robert Trivers was disinvited from participating in a talk after criticizing Israel, and reinvited a year later.

  • 2009: Students protested Jim Gilchrist’s founding of an anti-illegal immigration group.

  • 2014: Students and faculty protested Michael Johnston’s support for test-based teacher accountability, asking for revocation of his invitation to speak on campus.

  • 2014: Students decried the invitation of Michael Bloomberg, expressing concern that inviting Bloomberg constituted an endorsement of his positions and would exacerbate the “sense of social exclusion” related to Bloomberg’s support for “stop-and-frisk” and surveillance after 9/11.

  • 2015: Harvard Law School canceled plans to honor Robin Steinberg, the suspended head of the Bronx Defenders.

  • 2017: Harvard rescinded Chelsea Manning’s invitation to be a visiting fellow following objections from members of the intelligence community.

  • 2019: A speech by Harvard University President Lawrence S. Bacow and Graduate School of Education Dean Bridget Terry Long was disrupted by protestors, calling on the university to divest from fossil fuels and prisons, who occupied the stage and refused to leave. The event was moved to another location and continued uninterrupted thereafter.

  • 2019: Board members of the Harvard Law School Forum disinvited Bruce Fein because of disagreement over the Armenian genocide, a topic irrelevant to the board’s invitation. (Note: I was involved, with attorney Fein, in litigation regarding certain First Amendment issues pertaining to the topic of the Armenian genocide.)


Harvard’s Orientation Programs/Webpages


a. Harvard’s orientation programs have little-to-no pro-free speech content


Harvard maintains several orientation resources and programs for incoming students. Among these are:


  1. The “incoming students” webpage.

  2. The “pre-orientation” webpage.

  3. The “orientation” webpage.

  4. The “first-year experience” webpage.

  5. The “first-year housing” webpage.


None of these programs appear to contain any discussion of academic freedom or freedom of speech, even when they discuss interaction and bias. For example, the orientation process includes a Community Conversations program which examines identity and “diverse backgrounds and perspectives,” but does not mention ideological diversity. One of the optional pre-orientation programs, the Outdoor Program, includes implicit-bias training. 

When orientation programs emphasize the risk of speech while ignoring its value or its centrality to the mission of an academic community, they inculcate the message that speech is a risk to be mitigated, not an indispensable element of the Harvard experience. Harvard should strive to reinforce the value and protection of speech in every instance where it outlines methods of limiting it. 

FIRE’s Orientation Program


FIRE, in partnership with New York University’s First Amendment Watch, has developed a series of 10 free-to-use modules (available as videos and written lessons) and other resources (such as breakout activities, suggested panels, and recommended common reads) for universities to utilize when teaching incoming students about their free speech rights and the principles behind the First Amendment. 


The video lessons are geared toward universities looking for resources to include in digital first-year experience programming or university webpages explaining student rights. The written lessons and activities can be used during in-person freshman orientation, first-year seminars, student government onboarding, or classes that require succinct lessons and resources.


The materials have been used by 10 universities including Arizona State University, Texas A&M University, and the University of North Carolina-Wilmington (with uses ranging from inclusion in online orientation and university webpages explaining student rights to integration in first-year seminars). In October, FIRE will place the videos in a Learning Management System, where universities can send their students to watch the videos and take comprehension quizzes to ensure knowledge-retention. 


FIRE would be pleased to work with Harvard to implement this program on its campus.


Responses from Harvard Students to a Prompt on Self-Censorship


One of the questions in our College Free Speech Rankings survey asked students, “On your campus, how often have you felt that you could not express your opinion on a subject because of how students, a professor, or the administration would respond?” The potential responses were “Never,” “Rarely,” “Occasionally,” “Fairly Often,” and “Very Often.” Any student who responded with an answer other than “Never” was asked: “Please share a moment when you personally felt you could not express your opinion on your campus.”


A sample of those responses from the 250 Harvard students in the 2021 survey is copied below. 


Harvard students who report self-censoring very or fairly often frequently identified the school’s ideological climate as the reason


  1. “As a student with views that are only slightly conservative, I feel very afraid to express my opinions to my peers and professors as in and out of classes, Republicans are openly derided and called inherently racist or bigoted.” — Female, white, somewhat conservative, self-censors fairly often.


  1. “I felt as if the campus culture protected an informal religion of a particular interpretation of liberalism rather than liberal values.” —  Male, white, political ideology described as not liberal or conservative/other, self-censors very often.


  1. “I felt that I could not express some of my political ideals because they were not aligned with the campus majority.” —  Male, Hispanic/Latino, somewhat liberal, self-censors fairly often.


  1. “The campus is extremely liberal and I am a moderate conservative. I do not feel that I can express my policy ideas and opinions without being tied to other groups or be deemed racist or sexist.” —  Male, white, slightly conservative, self-censors very often.


  1. “In contentious discussions about racism over the summer, many people were expressing incredibly far-left views that I disagree with, but did not share my disagreement so I wouldn’t be called out or canceled.” —  Female, Asian, slightly liberal, self-censors fairly often. 


  1. “I tend to keep my personal opinions to myself all the time, because I’d rather avoid the fallout from students and faculty that shape my learning environment for the next few years.” — Male, Black, moderate, self-censors fairly often.

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