College students testify: Free speech under assault on campuses

College students and professors delivered a dire warning to Capitol Hill Tuesday that free speech on campus is coming under “attack,” telling lawmakers that conservative views are in danger of being “shut down.”

Students who say they’ve faced “considerable backlash” for exercising First Amendment rights testified as part of a packed panel of witnesses before the Senate Judiciary Committee. 

“In classrooms, liberal arguments are often treated as unquestionable truths,” said Zachary Wood, a 21-year-old student at Williams College in Massachusetts. 

Other views, he suggested, are not welcome. “I cannot name a single conservative speaker that has been brought to campus by the administration,” Wood said. 

Wood is the president of “Uncomfortable Learning,” a program that gives a forum to speakers with highly controversial views. It has not been an easy gig. 

“I have faced considerable backlash from the student body, yet I resolved to ignore those attacks,” Wood testified. Speaking to what has become a common practice on American campuses, he described how administrators have disinvited speakers over “inflammatory remarks” such as “anti-feminist” Suzanne Venker.

‘I cannot name a single conservative speaker that has been brought to campus by the administration.’

– Zachary Wood, student at Williams…

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