The on-line journal of DFTD reports on free speech and discourse and ideological balance issues at Davidson and serves as a clearing house for reports and articles nationwide illuminating the situation on other campuses, articulating the campus free speech cause, or proposing remedies to address the nationwide threat to free speech and open discourse on higher education campuses. In the interest of an informed and open dialogue, we encourage signed letters to the editor, and will consider, as well, original articles on free speech and ideological balance issues.
Davidson Freedom Roundup
Every once in a while The Washington Post reminds us of the kind of newspaper that it used to be — capable of producing balanced journalism. Education reporter Susan Svrluga has published an article describing the rise of what I (not she) calls the alumni rebellion. She cites the concerns of Virginia-based organizations — the Jefferson Council (whose board I serve on), the Spirit of VMI, and the General’s Redoubt — as well as allied groups in Princeton, MIT and other nationally known universities about the erosion of free speech on college campuses.
Alumni groups pressing free-speech issues are popping up at colleges in many states, as debates over academic freedom, “cancel culture” and changes on campus intensify.
Teaching all aspects of the U.S.’s story will help de-politicize education and foster democracy.
When persons of means contemplate death, the question of where to leave their financial assets becomes acute. If they are higher education graduates, their former campuses have “advancement teams” ready to answer questions, provide forms, and urge investments in their institutions. Sometimes they will appeal to altruism, sometimes ideology, and sometimes ego. Would you like to have your name on this activity or building? Such administrators believe that “where there is a Will, there is a way.”
This is the senior speech that Julie Hartman ‘22 delivered in Harvard’s Memorial Chapel on May 3, 2022
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published by RealClearPolitics on March 5, 2022, and is republished here with permission.
The roots of free speech are ancient, deep, and sprawling. The Athenian statesman Pericles extolled the democratic values of open debate and tolerance of social dissent in 431 BC. In the ninth century, the irreverent freethinker Ibn al-Rawandi used the fertile intellectual climate of the Abbasid caliphate to question prophecy and holy books. In 1582, the Dutchman Dirck Coornhert insisted that it was “tyrannical to . . . forbid good books in order to squelch the truth.” The first legal protection of press freedom was instituted in Sweden in 1766.
Helen Andrews is a senior editor at the American Conservative and a graduate of Yale University.
Lawrence Bacow, president of Harvard, issued a statement Feb. 28 condemning the Russian invasion of Ukraine on behalf of the university. It decried the “deplorable actions of Vladmir Putin ” and asserted that Harvard has an obligation to speak out because “institutions devoted to the perpetuation of democratic ideas and to the articulation of human rights have a responsibility to condemn such wanton aggression.”