Harvard Hits Rock Bottom: Ranked Worst for Free Speech, Reveals FIRE’s Eye-Opening Report

Harvard Hits Rock Bottom: Ranked Worst for Free Speech, Reveals FIRE's Eye-Opening Report
Harvard Hits Rock Bottom: Ranked Worst for Free Speech, Reveals FIRE's Eye-Opening Report
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America’s premier educational institution, Harvard, has officially earned the notorious distinction of being the worst university in the nation in terms of free speech. A recent annual study by the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE), which examined speech codes and reactions to guest speakers across 248 American campuses, has classed Harvard as the institution with the least respect for free speech, scoring a pitiful zero out of 100.

The FIRE report also surveyed over 55,000 college students on their experiences of censorship and limitations of free speech at their respective institutions. The report revealed that freedom of speech is increasingly threatened on campuses across the country, and that many major universities have administrations that are suppressive of the rights of their students. The director of polling and analytics at FIRE, Sean Stevens, stated, “students should be aware that some schools have such restrictive policies that they may not be able fully to exercise their free speech rights even if they wanted to.”

The atmosphere at Harvard was classed as “abysmal” by the survey after questioning over 200 students about their experiences at the Ivy League School. One student said they were compelled to announce their preferred pronouns at the commencement of every lecture, while another disclosed that they masked their true opinions to avoid being ostracized by their peers. Another student from Harvard’s class of 2024 admitted that they intentionally suppressed any controversial opinions posted on social media under their own name because they were too apprehensive about any possible misconstruing of their views which may have upset their fellow students or lecturers.

Harvard has been joined by several other centers of learning at the bottom of Fire’s rankings on the freedom of speech issue. The ignominious list includes the University of Texas (Austin), Dartmouth College, Duquesne University, Northwestern University, Skidmore College, Fordham University, Georgetown University, the University of South Carolina, and the University of Pennsylvania. However, the result revealed that the Stanford University students were the most intolerant of diverse political views with 72% of respondents adamant that parties with conservative values should be banned from their campus entirely. Curiously, Stanford was ranked 207th overall while being placed an astonishing 237th concerning disorderly conduct-inspiring disobedience.

On the other hand, the most outstanding universities on free speech were liberal arts degree-less Michigan Technological University, Auburn University, the University of New Hampshire, Oregon State University, Florida State University, the University of Virginia, Texas A&M University, George Mason University, University of North Carolina (UNCG), and the University of Colorado Boulder.

The president and CEO of FIRE, Greg Lukianoff, welcomed the “number of university presidents” who have pledged to defend free speech and academic freedom at their institutions. However, he articulated his concerns regarding the “worst performing institutions” among which, he exclaimed, are some of the most prominent institutions of America, including Dartmouth, Georgetown, Harvard, and Northwestern. Lukianoff further pointed out that an environment in which a student could face consequences for voicing an opinion deemed unacceptable, academically or socially – is “not one that can be depended upon to produce reliable knowledge.”

Next News Network Team

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