Study: Sixty-Five Percent of College Students Believe that They Cannot Speak Freely on Campus

We often discuss (including a controversy today) the growing intolerance for opposing views on our campuses and the rising generation of censors in our society. Students and even faculty members increasingly call for the silencing or firing of those who espouse opposing views on a range of different subjects. The speech codes and sanctions on campuses have silenced many who might voice dissenting views, as we have seen in prior polling. That has created a type of academic echo chamber in scholarship and classrooms. Now, a new study offers insights into the extent of that chilling effect for our students. The Knight Foundation released a new study showing that sixty-five (65) percent agreed that people on campus today are prevented from speaking freely. The poll is additional evidence of the failure of administrators and faculty to maintain campuses as forums for free thought and intellectual engagement.

The Foundation enlisted Ipsos to assemble a “nationally representative sample of over 1,000 college students ages 18-24 enrolled in all types of higher education institutions, along with 4,000 American adults.” The report, “College Student Views on Free Expression and Campus Speech 2022,” is part of the Knight Free Expression (KFX) Research Series.

The polling also showed that fifty-nine (59) percent say that they believe schools should be places where students hear all types of speech, even speech considered offensive or biased. Less than half felt that their free speech rights are secure today.

This study shows that conservatives and Republicans on campus feel the loss of free speech most acutely. That is consistent with other studies. For example, an earlier poll at the University of North Carolina found that conservative students are 300 times more likely to self-censor themselves due to the intolerance of opposing views on our campuses.

What was most striking about the study was the comparative decline among independents and republicans in just three years. From 2019 to 2021, independents feeling that free speech is secure in the country went from 59 percent to 46 percent. For republicans, it went from 52 percent to 27 percent. For democrats the decline was only 2 percent. One obvious take from those figures is that speech codes and enforcement actions favor Democratic speakers and groups. Their speech has not been curtailed as the dominant group on campuses.

The poll is an indictment of our educational system and, yes, our educators. Faculty have remained silent (or supported) the establishment of a new orthodoxy on our campuses. The speech intolerance shown on many campuses stifles intellectual discourse and chills the free speech of many of our students. However, most faculty members remain conspicuously silent rather than risk being tagged or targeted in the next cancelling campaign.



90 thoughts on “Study: Sixty-Five Percent of College Students Believe that They Cannot Speak Freely on Campus”

  1. During the Viet Nam war campuses were the places where young people spoke out against the establishment, against an unnecessary war. Will young people rise up to defend their right to speak out and challenge authority? Or will they hide in their safe space behind a cutesy name on social media and allow the end of freedom?

  2. My father was first in his class in high school. He did but go to college. Got admitted to West point but chose not to go. He went to work for his father’s owned plumbing business. When grandpa died he and his brother ran it until they retired and sold it. Dad was independent and made good money. All four of us kids went to private colleges for first four years. Two went on to graduate degrees. One at law the other MBA. All four ended up with their own business or solo law practice all four had free speech in college and enjoyed what was taught.
    If I had a kid I’d set up a business for him and have him go to community college to learn about the world But no job at some bank or whatnot.
    Travel. Enjoy life. Sprec frei.

  3. OT:

    One small piece from Sen Johnson’s DC Roundtable event.

    19:00 min in & + plus 4 05 mins

    DOD Info:

    Miscarriages up 300%

    mRNA Crap, 300% more Cancer

    Neurological Problems up over a 1000%

    God only knows what we can’t see here??????

    One small piece from Sen Johnson’s DC Roundtable event.

    Note the Sharp Blonde Attorney aiding the other Attorney.

    ( If I wasn’t already married I think I’d loved to be Verbal Abused by her. I didn’t see her speak hear. LOL;)


    Whole 5 hours Sen Johnson’s DC Roundtable event.

    MSM Blackout Of Medical Doctors Pandemic Response Roundtable Is A Crime Against Humanity



    Jan 24, 2022
    Bill Gates Is EVIL
    Bill Gates Is EVIL

    Senator Ron Johnson is the only member of Congress that cares about the truth that’s being hidden by the Main Stream Media when it comes to the COVID pandemic. OAN, Rumble and Infowars will be one of the few places you can watch the COVID-19 A Second Opinion roundtable symposium in its entirety. Please put time codes for important sections in the comments.


    BTW: Poll:

    Which US City will Biden & his Authoritarian Dim/Rino Crew Nuke in a False Flag Event to attempt get their Azzes out of the Mess (Disaster) they’ve made of the US. I think it’ll have to be far larger then GW Bush/Dick C & the Dims 911 Attack in 2001.

    But which City/Cities??? Just Remember, those Natacha’s Russkies Did It! 🙂

  4. I believe that Professor Turley’s analysis is off. The poll included 1000 students and 4000 ‘adults’. I suggest that the true measure of the free speech rights of students will be the perception of the students.

    Alternately, I suggest that a separate poll of adults alone would measure the public opinion of the controversy ‘from the outside looking in’.

    Conflating the two groups conflates the two results.

  5. So Professor, serious point:

    Bad news for your quest to enter the football Hall of Fame, at least for the short term.

    Kurt Schilling been the victim of vicious character assassination attempts from the left ever since he came out as a Trump supporter. Paul Hoynes, a baseball Hall of Fame voter, admitted today that there is a political loyalty oath among his fellow voters that kept Schilling out of the Hall. Admitted as in writing.

    Sadly, the Hall of Fame voters and Twitter are fellow travelers. Gatekeepers for the institutions they control. Although Hoynes is a lot less sophisticated in how he expresses himself. Especially ironic in your case is the mindless expansion of the term “hate speech” to smear a Hall of Fame candidate disfavored by the left. No reason to think Canton is any different.

    The good news? The American people are fed up with this leftist nonsense. The day of reckoning is coming sooner than they think. Hang in there, Professor, the Eephus is on the way.

    Quoting Hoynes: Schilling was never accused of taking steroids, but after his career ended he engaged in hate speech on social media that turned off some voters.

  6. Andy Kgno was scheduled to speak on a college campus. A well known organization threatened violence against him and the university if he was allowed to speak. The university cancelled his speech under the pressure. The organization is the military branch of The Democratic Party known as ANTIFA. Remember, Kamala Harris helped to bail out ANTIFA in Seattle. It’s understandable, she couldn’t let her storm troopers sit in jail. For now, the battle can still be won in the voting booth.

  7. OT: The video footage actually shows Babbitt smacking Alam in the face using slow motion and stopping to show the details along with still pictures. There is a lot we don’t know about Jan 11. Babbitt “served as a military police officer in the U.S. Air Force and the National Guard for 14 years”. The Democrats destroy people’s names in an effort to wrest political control from the people.

    The left erected a statue of a no-good criminal. We need a statue of Ashli Babbitt.

    Ashli Babbitt Punched Rioter Seconds Before She Was Shot, New Video Shows
    The video is yet another blow to the media narrative that Babbitt was an angry insurrectionist rioter determined to prevent the certification of Electoral College votes by the U.S. Congress on Jan 6, 2021.

    For several minutes before she was shot, Babbitt implored the rioters to stop vandalizing the Capitol. She shouted at police guarding the double doors to call for backup, according to an analysis of footage shot by three cameramen….

    As Alam pounded on the glass in the right door, Babbitt shouted, “Stop it!”

      1. The illegal alien, effeminate coward and dastardly assassin, michael byrd, must be drawn and quartered for egregious denial of constitutional rights, deprivation of rights under color of law, abuse of power, disproportionate lethal response, and the grievous unjustifiable homicide of an American.

      2. Epstein, I like you constant reminders. Since you obviously know right from wrong and probably recognize that Ashli Babbitt was slandered to create the leftist image desired by the left and Nancy Pelosi, if you haven’t seen the videos and text I referred to look at my post that makes her into a hero. Astonishing videos are included.

  8. Turley is innumerate. 65% is not “almost seventy percent” among those who can count without using their fingers and toes.

    The comments indicate the respondents didn’t bother to read the report, largely. I suppose most cannot read with comprehension.

    1. Benson is a wannabe narcissist but there’s no there there, so he snipes as a last resort in his concluding and final search for worth and meaning.

      Benson, if we want intelligent, we’ll take a run down to the Theoretical Physics Department.

      Pity poor Benson.

      You go, Boy.

      God Bless You.

    2. If I were walking 70 miles and had only 5 miles to get to the end I would say I was “almost there”…so would you.


      You are absolutely correct except where you are absolutely wrong. There is no religious component. These people are Godless communists. The goal of American “education” is redistribution of wealth to “teacher” union members (i.e. communists). Figure it out, Comrade Andrew Yang wants to give Americans Universal Basic Income, aka free money. Start here: Education is an exercise in futility. Whatever is taught is almost immediately forgotten.

      To wit,

      “How bad is the problem? How much do people forget? Research on the forgetting curve (Figure 1) shows that within one hour, people will have forgotten an average of 50 percent of the information you presented. Within 24 hours, they have forgotten an average of 70 percent of new information, and within a week, forgetting claims an average of 90 percent of it.”

      – Art Kohn, Learning Solutions

      Education could be accomplished by corporations teaching that which is employed and retained – “use it or lose it” – a employment prerequisites, including degrees, lowered. Teachers can be replaced with digital systems, artificial intelligence, robots, desktops, laptops, I-phones and monkeys. English 101 can be taught globally through the propagation of one CD or digital recording. In each subject, the whole world needs only one teacher who records and distributes the lesson and, possibly, minimum wage local tutors for the stragglers without involved parents (who should be charged/taxed extra).

      What happens in public school is babysitting and daycare.

      Teaching a class is so difficult, the Governor of New Mexico is recruiting those high intellectuals in the New Mexico National Guard, public workers et al., God Bless Them, to administer lessons until more overpaid, union dues-paying charlatans and pedagogues can be fashioned or imported and ensconced.

      To wit,

      “New Mexico Governor Calling in the National Guard as Substitute Teachers”

      “New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) announced Wednesday she will be asking National Guard members and state employees to become certified to fill in as substitute teachers as teacher staffing shortages continue to skyrocket.

      – Breccan F. Thies

      And the reason teachers get a paid, three-month summer vacation is?

      America is nuts…America listens to the rubbish from communists who should be in jail not classrooms.

      Lower the prerequisites and degree requirements for teachers, replace them with a simple certificate and fire strikers.


  9. The left has a fascist predisposition. It is understandable for them to readily accept restrictions of freedom of speech.

  10. Universities are becoming a monoculture. The lack of tolerance as a cultural feature is entirely the fault of administrators who decided to cow down and not protect free speech and other traditional academic values. If the university president, provost and deans had not given in to the mob, free speech would have been protected. It is cowardice and these administrators should be removed. However, the boards consist of idem dito persons.

    1. Double Dutch writes: “Universities long ago became a monoculture.” There, I fixed it for you.

  11. @george

    “Let us blood be on us and our children”

    Matthew 27.25

    And it is….

  12. “My body, my choice” only applies to abortion and legalization of drug usage according to leftist parlance.


  13. The most frightening aspect of this censorship is the left attempting to control language itself (offensive words, hateful words, not using proper pronouns but replacing them with made up words (Latinx, MX, Ze) ) and claiming bigotry when not used. If they can limit the language, they can limit thought formulation and eventually limit any discussion outside of their narrow ideology! It is pure ‘1984’ and it appears to be working on our campuses!

    1. You are precisely correct! I recently reread “1984” and that is a fascinating and frightening concept of limiting language to limit thought. It is fascinating also how Orwell understood the dark side of human nature and group dynamics.

      What is also scary is that most people get their information from page one of a Google search and Wikipedia. One has to be cautious with both sites. I have noticed a bias in recent months.

      1. E.M.: I think it’s fair to say that “1984” for conservatives is a lesson in what awaits if the extremists actually take total control. For the “left,” “1984” is a How-to manual.

    2. This is why you have to stand firm in refusing to adhere to their linguistic diktats, no matter how much they scream, whine and moan. Not going to change how I speak no matter how hurt, offended or triggered you are.

      As my parents told me when I was growing up: “Tell it to your therapist when you grow up, because I don’t care.”

    3. It’s not 1984. It’s not socialism. It’s communism.

      “Give me just one generation of youth, and I’ll transform the whole world.”

      – Vladimir Lenin

      “The goal of Socialism is Communism.”

      – Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

    4. “. . . the left attempting to control language itself . . .”


      They are severing the connection between words and reality. That way, the wishes behind their words become “reality.”

  14. @jeffsilberman

    And before you call me a “nazi” for asking that last question, I understand why and respect the Jewish state regarding their immigration policies. I just resent the double standards most leftists advocate on this issue.


    1. Correct me if I am wrong, the Sanhedrin answered the Romans with a thumb’s down on Jesus Christ?

      It would seem to require a whole lotta those-who-trespass-against-me forgivin’ to repair that relationship.

  15. @jeffsilberman

    I want a amicable divorce with equitable distribution of assets and property. That is not what you are offering. You want to throw out your spouse of many years and leave them destitute.

    Another question, my guess is that like most s@@tlibs you favor open borders and unlimited immigration. Do you favor open borders and immigration for Israel? Bet you don’t.


    1. “Crazy Abe” Lincoln denied “divorce” and beat the —- out of his wife, the Confederate States of America, and compelled her, by brutal physical force and violent kinetic action, to stay in their “marriage” and in his house, and do precisely as he ordered. That would not appear to embrace the concept of “freedom” of the American Founders and Constitution. But I could be wrong.

      1. George: Let me guess, you got that twisted history from the 1619 Project? Get your facts straight. Mrs. Lincoln was the “crazy” in that marriage.

  16. “Give me just one generation of youth, and I’ll transform the whole world.”

    – Vladimir Lenin

    How many generations of youth have the communists (liberals, progressives, socialist, democrats, RINOs) had since Dear Leader General Secretary “Crazy Abe” Lincoln’s “Reign of Terror”?

    Comrade Lincoln demolished American Fundamental Law and commenced the evolution of the Great Communist American Welfare State.

    Comrade Lincoln was the catalyst of the now full and complete abrogation of the Constitution and Bill of Rights – the rights, freedoms, privileges and immunities the Founders intended Americans to enjoy.

    Karl Marx wrote Abraham Lincoln a letter of commendation and congratulation in 1865.

    Great job, Abe!

  17. If high school “Debate Clubs” still exist at all, maybe we need mandatory debate clubs in 2021. Teaching kids how to attack the “message” (debate based on facts and strong arguments) instead of attacking the “messenger” (person eercising their legal speech rights). Isn’t that the point of education?

    The 21st Century seems to tribal and facts-optional. Only about winning at all costs in spite of the truth.

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