CFACT working for student rights

Remember Melissa Click?

She’s the communications professor who called for violence to prevent a student reporter from covering a demonstration at the University of Missouri.

Click was infamously captured on video shouting, “Hey, who wants to help me get this reporter out of here! I need some muscle over here!”

This week she claims she regrets what she said.

As Rhett told Scarlet, “You’re like the thief who isn’t the least bit sorry he stole, but is terribly, terribly sorry he’s going to jail.”

Ms. Click is the perfect representative of the intolerance of free speech that is now commonplace at far too many colleges and universities.

Through its Collegians program, CFACT is working to do something about this. CFACT has built a fantastic network of student leaders whose mission is to challenge the prevailing orthodoxies about global warming, energy and the environment with solid facts. They encounter the kind of intolerance Professor Click personifies every day, but they are fighting back. Now they have found a perfect weapon to help them in their effort!

We’d like to share a remarkable document with you.

A committee at the University of Chicago adopted a powerful declaration of student rights that has already been adopted by a number of colleges ready to break with the Political Correctness that is stifling free expression on campus.

Read it at CFACT.org and pass it on to others you may know attending college or working in a university setting.

This powerful document is certainly ruffling feathers and making an impact. It clearly lays out the case for a free debate of ideas, as can be seen in the following section:

“In a word, the University’s fundamental commitment is to the principle that debate or deliberation may not be suppressed because the ideas put forth are thought by some or even by most members of the University community to be offensive, unwise, immoral, or wrong-headed. It is for the individual members of the University community, not for the University as an institution, to make those judgments for themselves, and to act on those judgments not by seeking to suppress speech, but by openly and vigorously contesting the ideas that they oppose.”

CFACT is getting behind this remarkable free speech statement and using our Collegians network to bring it to students, faculty, administrators, trustees and alumni everywhere.

We hope to see it adopted by student governments, Boards of Regents, and other entities where student expression is being crushed by the forces of Political Correctness. CFACT’s Collegians are going to work by urging more institutions of higher learning to adopt a version of this remarkable declaration on free expression, or a similar version guaranteeing as powerful a protection of individual freedom or greater.

As the Chicago declaration also reminds us, “education should not be intended to make people comfortable, it is meant to make them think.”

It’s time to say ” No!” to censorship. The only remedy for speech we disagree with is more speech; speech that persuades on the merits.

CFACT’s students are uniquely positioned to champion the fight for free speech on campus.

Please forward a copy of the model declaration to educators wherever free speech is in jeopardy.

Our freedom is our most precious endangered resource.

We must either “use it, or lose it.”

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About the Author: Craig Rucker

Craig Rucker is the executive director and co-founder of CFACT.