Many Campus DEI Offices Limit Free Speech by Encouraging Student Informants to Report Violations of Campus Orthodoxy

(p. A15) According to a recent study by the free-speech watchdog organization Speech First, 56% of American universities have adopted schemes that encourage students to report on one another anonymously for “bias” or “protected identity harm.” This means that anyone who falls short of campus orthodoxy on “pronouns,” transgenderism, microaggressions and proscribed language might soon be denounced and deprived of basic due process, including the right to face an accuser. Zealots at Stanford recently denounced a fellow student who was photographed holding a copy of Hitler’s “Mein Kampf.”

The number of universities that have institutionalized snitching has doubled since 2017. The damage this will do to campus life is easy to imagine: It will chill free expression via self-censorship both in and out of the classroom; it will infantilize protected classes of students even more than they already have been; it will reinforce the campus culture of victimhood; it will further strengthen the radical orthodoxy; and it will divert yet more energy from learning to ideological activism.

. . .

But perhaps the worst aspect of this scheme is that the most destructive of campus bureaucracies—the diversity, equity and inclusion brigade—will grow, for most of the campus bias-reporting systems are housed in DEI offices. Yes, the same group that polices language, forces ideological training down the throats of faculty and students, and mandates loyalty oaths from faculty candidates will be in charge of administering the system of informers. Woke ideologues will obstruct the work of those who still believe that the mission of a university is to foster the free exchange of ideas.

For the full commentary, see:

Iván Marinovic and John Ellis. “Snitches Get Sheepskins as Colleges Train Student Informants.” The Wall Street Journal (Friday, April 7, 2023): A15.

(Note: ellipsis added.)

(Note: the online version of the commentary has the date April 6, 2023, and has the title DEI Meets East Germany: U.S. Universities Urge Students to Report One Another for ‘Bias’.)

The study mentioned above is:

“Free Speech in the Crosshairs: Bias Reporting on College Campuses.” Speech First, 2022.

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