Gallup Poll: Ninety Percent Of Pomona Students Feel That They Cannot Speak Freely

240px-Formal_Seal_of_Pomona_College,_Claremont,_CA,_USA.svgWe have been discussing the erosion of free speech on campuses with rising speech codes and ambiguous rules barring “microaggressions.”  A small percentage of students and faculty often push for such speech codes and regulation.  However, it is often difficult for students and faculty to object at the risk of being called intolerant or microaggressors.  Now there is a Gallup poll confirming that most students feel that they are no longer able to speak freely at college due to this minority of speech intolerant students and faculty. Ninety percent of Pomona students said that they did not feel free to speak openly or freely. It is an indictment of not just Pomona but many of our colleges.

Nine out of ten students said that “the campus climate prevents them from saying something others might find offensive.” Nearly two-thirds of faculty feel the same.  Seventy-five percent of conservative and moderate students strongly agree that the school climate hinders their free expression.  Notably, that is “nearly 2.5 times higher than very liberal students.”

That is hardly surprising.  Many of the controversies that we have discussed center on conservative speech.  It often seems like faculty eager to limit speech strive to be placed on these committees and drives these agendas.  Regrettably, faculty members have been intimidated by Administrators like Northwestern’s President who routinely support demands for speech limits or disciplinary actions for alleged intolerant or offensive speech.  The speech codes have extended to discussions in classrooms.


Faculty and administrators have sacrificed free speech at institutions like Pomona to the loss of their institutions and their students.  Higher education is based first and foremost on the guarantee of the free exchange of ideas. At places like Pomona, faculty has allowed the destruction of the foundation of a leading educational institution.  The poll is a failure of the first order for academicians.

60 thoughts on “Gallup Poll: Ninety Percent Of Pomona Students Feel That They Cannot Speak Freely”

  1. The definition of “liberal” in the Cambridge Dictionary appears to be superior.

    1. David Benson – Is Making Stuff Up and still owes me a citation from the OED. Please stop telling people you have seen a definition in the OED when you know that is not true. If you had actually been playing in the OED you would state thing differently. You also have to know how dictionaries work. They are always at least one year behind the spoken language, so the newest words will not be in there. The older your Cambridge, the more out of date it is. If it is your personal copy, you probably have not updated it since you left the WSU. So, how out-of-date is it? Honestly, I have not bought a new dictionary since I stopped teaching so I know how annoying it can be. 😉

        1. David Benson – still owes me a citation from the OED. You and I both know you didn’t get the definition from the OED online. You even admitted it. So soon we forget. You got it from the ‘collegiate’ version of the OED, which isn’t even called the OED.

          David, you a playing in my sandbox here. 🙂

          1. It is called the Oxford English Dictionary by the Oxford University Press. Do try to learn how to do online research and so move what remains of your mind into the current century.

            1. <David Benson – still owes me a citation from the OED. Those of us who have spent hours delving into the depths of the Oxford English Dictionary refer to it fondly as the OED.

  2. What a tragic irony that speech and opinions are most oppressed are in places of higher learning.

    It’s become a bit of an oxymoron.

    1. Proxymoron: (noun) A college student or other person hoodwinked by a faculty member to drum up controversy supporting the professor’s political agenda all the while the student believes he or she is a leader in the agenda yet is unable to explain the reasons behind the agenda, or any supporting proof.

      The student also suffers all consequences resulting from their actions at the behest of their controller, while the controller is either protected by tenure or has plausible deniability.

  3. not surprised anyone veering off the PC Plantation at Pomona feels this way. Thing is the students need to stand up or shut up. I cannot imagine going to school in such a climate.

  4. Our founding fathers were libertarians, not liberals. There is a huge difference

    1. No, our ‘Founding Fathers’ were not ‘libertarians’ as the term is used today. Very few libertarians are advocates of the sort of Whiggery which was abroad among the 18th century gentry. Most libertarians don’t give a rip about anything but the drug laws.

      1. @Insufferable May 21, 2018 at 11:04 AM
        “Most libertarians don’t give a rip about anything but the drug laws.”

        What an amusingly ignorant generalization and/or confession! 🙂 Perhaps the apparently miniscule number of libertarians with whom you’re familiar among the total number of self-described libertarians in the world “don’t give a rip about anything but the drug laws”, but those with whom I’m familiar have produced or are well-read in a vast literature regarding, explicitly or implicitly, virtually every human activity:

        “The Literature of Liberty

        “Tom G. Palmer provides a comprehensive overview of the vast literature on libertarianism, free market economics, and the philosophy of liberty.

        The Libertarian Reader provides a good overview of libertarian thought, but no one collection can do justice to the richness of libertarianism or to the range of problems to which one can apply libertarian insights in illuminating or practical ways.

        “The reader includes a number of the canonical works of the libertarian traditions, either excerpted or in their entirety. This short guide is a supplement to the texts, intended for those who wish to explore further the foundations, implications, and promise of libertarianism.

        “(I have not generally listed works already represented in this reader, although those that are merely excerpted usually merit reading in full.) In addition to works written from a libertarian perspective, or which have contributed to the development of libertarianism, I have included some contemporary and classic works that are critical of the libertarian approach, ranging from Plato’s criticism of voluntary social organization to contemporary conservative, socialist, and social democratic criticisms.

        “Libertarianism is central to virtually all of the currently exciting debates in ethical theory, political science, economics, history, and the other humane sciences, as well as to actual political struggles across the globe, and it is important to see it, not only as its proponents see it, but from the perspective of its critics as well. [My emphasis]

        “Such a bibliographical guide could be organized in any number of ways (chronological/historical, thematic, by schools or countries), and each has its advantages. I have organized this guide so that the reader can first review broad introductions to the subject and then delve into more specific issues.

        “Accordingly, I have organized the material into eight categories: (I) contemporary or relatively recent general works on libertarianism; (II) the history of civilization from a libertarian perspective; (III) imprescriptible individual rights; (IV) spontaneous order; (V) free markets and voluntary organization; (VI) justice and political organization; (VII) violence and the state; and (VIII) classical and contemporary works that are directly critical of libertarianism. [My emphasis]

        “The topic divisions are somewhat arbitrary, precisely because so many of the ideas considered here are mutually reinforcing and therefore likely to be found treated in the same book or essay. I conclude with the critics of libertarianism in order to allow the reader the opportunity to see the issues from at least two perspectives, to think through some difficult problems, and to decide for herself which arguments she finds most convincing.

        “No one perspective is likely to have all the answers, or even to ask all of the interesting and important questions, and it is only through dialogue with other views—through criticism and hard thinking—that libertarianism is likely to grow and flourish, and to make possible a better, freer, more peaceful, prosperous, and just world.”

        I recommend your getting out more as well as radically expanding your reading list. 🙂

        1. Yes Libertarians care about more than just the drug laws, but the messaging needs to be greatly improved. Anyone who watched the televised portions of your last national convention must be forgiven for thinking the Libertarian party is a joke, being presented by clowns. From the folks in ridiculous costumes to the candidate who got up on stage and danced a strip tease, it was difficult to take Libertarians seriously.

          1. What I think you mistake is that the clownishness is the motor, the intellectual discourse the apologia.

    2. We went through this label exercise last week when someone wanted a definition of conservative. Folks like David Benson need a handy OED definition to package a thought for him rather than to define something for himself. That sort of critical thought is what Mr. Benson routinely states as Making Stuff Up Again. He won’t dare go near that thought ledge.

      1. To promote communication it is best to use the dictionary definition which everyone can find. I prefer the Oxford English Dictionary. But sometimes I make up a word for the reader to infer the meaning.

        1. “sometimes I make up a word for the reader to infer the meaning.”
          And to use your own words, you must be “making stuff up again”.

          1. Yes, “nutzier” is Just Making Stuff Up. But it is clear, is it not?

        2. David Benson – still owes me a citation from the OED. David, if you like using words from the OED, then tell us how the OED works. Tell me what words are in the OED and what words are not in the OED. And give me my citation. For someone who uses the OED constantly, it should be no big deal.

          1. Do your own online research. If you don’t know how, as it appears, ask your local public librarian.

  5. USA Today just published an editorial calling speech policy at the University of Michigan a throwback to Soviet Russia. Maybe eyes are opening even in the perpetually blind liberal establishment

      1. Liberal? As in the Founding Fathers?

        Absolutely. Today they would Classical Liberals. These surveys are a reflection of the same sort of grievances our founding generation identified as evidence to justify the independence movement. The infringement of natural rights will only go so far until people wake up to the source of the infringement. This survey is encouraging.

      2. You have fundamental misunderstanding of classic liberals like the founders and today’s neo-liberals who resemble the classic’s like a grape resembles a aardvark.

          1. No. If you had any sort of objective curiosity you’d stop being intellectually lazy and look them up yourself.

          2. David Benson – owes me a citation from the OED. Read Weart.

              1. mespo – one of the things I learned in behavior psychology was to be patient. 😉 Plus, the WSU libraries are open 24 hours during the week so David has no excuse to get me my citation. He just has to walk up the hill to the library, as the reference librarian to help him, pay to print it out and walk home. Even if he has a walker, he has plenty of time to make it. 😉

                  1. mespo – I am wondering if David is capable of making up the hill to the library. I don’t want to dox him.

        1. I don’t understand the current need among some to view etymology in the English Language as inelastic and unchanging. The history of the language if it teaches anything is that words through usage change. I suspect much is from connotative meaning and later denotative as authoritative volumes such as recognized dictionaries and thesauri.

          We don’t have an analogue of the Académie Française, or the Badan Pengembangan dan Pembinaan Bahasa to approve and regulate the usage of the American Dialect of the English Language.

          Furthermore the basic purpose of language is to convey meaning. Thus in conveying meaning it is preferable to foster commonality between the speaker and the audience, else meaning becomes uncertain and differing conclusions can be expected. As we all know unfortunately all to well these differences can result in outcomes that range from benign to wars being fought.

          It serves little purpose to expect the audience to command an etymological understanding of each word and to derive every possible intended meaning of the speaker through deduction through the context of the topic of which interpretation of ambiguous or differing connotations in different parts of the world or for temporal variances.

          With regard to the noun “liberal”, which seems to be that of controversy here, the meaning differs widely in contemporary use between the United States, Canada, the UK, Australia, etc. Adding the variant of time with unqualified use leads to more confusion by expecting the reader to assume when “liberal” is used, it is meant to mean “classical liberal”, referring to John Locke and his contemporaries. With this example, not as many current English speakers in the United States will understand a speaker’s meaning when he just says “liberal” and expects the listener to mean “classical liberal”. As such it should be self-evident that to convey proper meaning, it should either be better defined or qualified if classical liberal is to be used rather than what most people understood to mean liberal in the U.S. English dialect of today. Still, even with the latter, there are many interpretations as to what constitutes ‘liberal’ but the confusion is lessened.

          1. I find it interesting how rapidly language evolves in the age of the Internet. Perhaps etymologists will study this rapid evolution hundreds of years from now.

            Teenagers can have entire conversations now using nothing by the hieroglyphic language of emojis as rapidly as the shorthand of 50 years ago.

          2. The Oxford English Dictionary gives several definitions of liberal, all indicating a certain openness to new ideas. None support the misappropriation of the word by Faux Neuz and its unthinking followers.

            1. Are you suggesting that all definitions of “liberal” only point to “a certain openness to new ideas” and no other definition? Next, you claim that “faux news” (which I presume you are referring to Fox News) and “its unthinking followers” is correct.

              That sounds like a rather closed minded approach to a large number of individuals. By your own definition you must not be very liberal after all.

            2. David Benson – Is Making Stuff Up and still owes me a citation from the OED. You will notice that David does not leave a link or cut-and-paste in the definitions he says the OED talks about, so you are at his mercy. If you do not know how to cut-and-paste, someone can teach you to do it or you can learn from YouTube. Your choice. If you do know, there is no excuse for this kind of sloppy research.

          3. “I don’t understand the current need among some to view etymology in the English Language as inelastic and unchanging.”
            Words aren’t infinitely malleable and most folks with some knowledge of political science know the difference between a classic liberal and today’s garden variety leftist liberal. Benson apparently doesn’t know much about much. He’s Sam Cookish:

            1. Many years ago, whenever I was serving myself at the buffet line of a restaurant, that song would play in my mind. Later I finally realized it was cued by memories of Bluto from Animal House.

  6. N.B. Prof. Turley just wrings his hands. He refuses to advocate anything which might repair matters.

    1. Take a look at Prof. Turley’s Civility Rule. That is a clear attempt to proactively define a wide highway for freedom of opinion, where the “incivility” shoulders are marked off. Colleges and universities used to have reasonable norms of civility, but they allowed CJWs to redefine incivility broadly as “causing any discomfort to any listener”. That clearly errs way too far in the direction of stifling free speech….constructive approaches to complex problems can simply be squelched by claiming some insult. A self-righteous minority then controls the dialog to within extremely narrow (and unproductive) limits of what can be discussed.

  7. The education sector is just about the most bloated and most dysfunctional element in the society in which we live. It’s only competitor would be the legal system. Prof. Turley is associated with both.

    Young people are other and lack the sort of poise and grace which was common among my parents’ contemporaries. The motor for this sort of inanity lies in a modest population of students faculty, and administrators about whom the broad mass of the faculty will do nothing. This sort of situation thrives due to the rancid faculty culture. Faculty members are other-directed and their minds are dominated by status-signaling.

    Truth be told, faculty are not really against the harassment of dissidents except in a pro-forma way. Their conception of society is derived from the social relations of schools. Advancing a social and political perspective at a variance with the going line in higher ed is considered class disruption and the function of people not being ‘well-infomed’. People who are not faculty (or from peer cultures like the bar) should have no influence in society and should certainly have no authority over faculty.

    Trustees could repair matters, but the board of trustees may be the most useless stakeholder around. See Charles Sykes The Hollow Men, written about Dartmouth College 30 years ago.

    There is a list of reforms you can enact which will improve the quality of relations between higher education and the larger society. The faculty won’t like it, because you’ll be taking away things faculty value. The faculty – and the administrators so derived – deserve to be treated harshly.

      1. David Benson – owes me a citation from the OED. Would that be like you making up definitions that do not exist?

          1. David Benson – owes me a citation from the OED. The library is open 24 hours next 5 days. You can look up motley there, too. Fascinating word with a fascinating history.

      2. You cannot point to a discrete element in my remarks which is ‘made up’. You might quit posing and lying every once in a while.

        1. NutzII — Your sweeping statements about all of post-secondary education are Just Made Up. There is no evidence of the extensive research required to support evidentiary conclusions.

          I repeat, Just Made Up.

          1. There is no evidence of the extensive research required to support evidentiary conclusions.


            You would be hard put to find a single instance of abusive students expelled or malicious administrators fired consequent to a faculty initiative. The evidence is the dogs not barking. The students at Middlebury College who put one of the local faculty in the emergency room when Charles Murray visited the campus were punished with a letter in their file. Faculty protest contra this slap on the wrist was nil. Instead, about 1/3 of the faculty signed an anodyne statement endorsing free inquiry (something that is itself highly unusual).

            (You, by the way, will find plenty of evidence that the social dynamics of higher education have removed from faculties anyone who might take exception to the going line in higher education. It’s the most grossly homogeneous occupational sector in the country, all employed by corporations which babble about ‘diversity’).

  8. hollywood – back of from what? Just because Northwestern has done some marketing does not give them a superior product.

  9. Of the two thousand plus colleges and univerities how many have been turned into penal institutions?

    Since only two accept no government funding not even GI Bill what are the chances of getting a real education in a USA instiutute grades 13-19?

    Has there been any noticeable increase in off cxampus programs of the various types available?

    How many degree programs are worth the effort in economic terms? What blue or other collar professions offer a greater return on dollar spent versus dollars earned?

  10. You need to back off. At the time you attended Northwestern, Pomona College was a superior school. Now, Northwestern has done more marketing.

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