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Country alumni withhold donations, demand universities respect free speech

Alumni across the country are demanding that universities respect free speech on their campuses and withhold donations to pressure schools to take them seriously.

The alumni retreat comes after a slew of reports in recent years that colleges and universities have been swarmed by a waking crowd of left-wing students and staff – who seem to take offense at virtually everything – while conservatives on campus self-censor their beliefs in order to avoid harassment and attacks.

(AFP contributor)

An example of a former student who withheld a donation due to free speech concerns is California real estate developer and longtime Carnell University donor Carl Neuss, according to a report from the the Wall Street newspaper.

When Cornell asked him for a seven-figure contribution two years ago, Neuss did not write the check immediately, saying he was concerned about leftist indoctrination on campus and declining tolerance for points. of competitors’ view.

To allay his concerns, Cornell introduced him to politically moderate professors, Neuss said – but the attempt backfired, as professors told him they felt humbled by the diversity training to which they had to attend and were perpetually afraid to say something factual, but politically incorrect.

“If you say the wrong words, you could lose your position or be avoided,” Neuss said.

Neuss, a Cornell graduate in 1976, withheld his donation and then helped start a group called the Cornell Free Speech Alliance, the the Wall Street newspaper reports.

The alliance is said to be one of many alumni groups that have formed over the past two years as a result of progressive group thinking that has taken over college campuses, along with a lack of opinions. various and protection of freedom of expression.

A poll released last year by College Fix found that a majority of conservative college students plan to self-censor in the fall 2020 semester in order to avoid upsetting their left-wing peers. In contrast, only 15 percent of Democratic respondents say they will censor their own political beliefs because of social pressures.

Additionally, a survey released this year found that more than 80% of students report self-censorship at least some of the time on campus, according to RealClearEducation, College Pulse and the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE).

The poll also found that 66% of students said it was okay to yell at a speaker to stop them speaking on campus, and 23% said it was okay to use violence to stop a speaker. speech on campus.

In October, alumni groups from five schools – Princeton, Cornell, University of Virginia, Washington, and Lee and Davidson College – announced the creation of a national organization called the Alumni Free Speech Alliance, reports the Newspaper.

The alliance’s goal is to help change the culture on campus so that students don’t yell at or dismiss a speaker they don’t agree with because they respect a diversity of opinions, said Edward Yingling, one of the founders of the alliance, who is also the former president and CEO of the American Bankers Association.

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Facebook and Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, and on Instagram.

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