Florida gets major free speech victory, Gov. DeSantis touts college campus resolution

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis appeared at Florida State University last Monday to promote a statewide resolution in favor of free speech and diversity of thought on college campuses.

Originally unveiled in April and reportedly signed by every state university system president, including FSU president John Thrasher, the resolution was written in response to President Donald Trump’s call in March for free speech to be restored on all college campuses.

“It is imperative for the future of our society that our state colleges and universities protect a culture of free speech on their campuses,” the governor said at FSU on Monday.

He continued, “Here in Florida, we are showing that we welcome debate and the exchange of ideas. By signing a resolution outlining their commitment, our state’s higher learning institutions can lead the way in promoting open discussion and civil discourse.”

“The idea that you get free speech in only one zone and that you have other safe spaces where you are not ever going to have to contend with an idea that you disagree with, that is something I reject,” he added. “The role of the university is not to shield students from speech that makes them uncomfortable.”

Across the country a number of colleges and universities have adopted “free speech zones” that allow students to speak freely within them. Many have taken issue with these zones on the basis that an entire college campus should be a “free speech zone,” given as a college campus is supposed to be a venue for intellectual debate, discussion and enrichment.

The problem, as DeSantis hinted at on Monday, is that many colleges and universities have transformed into veritable left-wing indoctrination centers that, in some cases, go so far as to outright ban conservative thinking — and no, that’s not an exaggeration.

Case in point: Five years ago a professor at Marquette University in Wisconsin strictly prohibited a student from expressing his opposition to gay marriage. As if that wasn’t bad enough, when a fellow professor called out the first professor for her small-mindedness, he was suspended.

For a more recent example, consider what happened recently to renowned conservative speaker Michael Knowles. Instead of prohibiting him from speaking, the University of Missouri – Kansas City did nothing as left-wing activists attempted to apply physically stop Knowles from speaking.

Knowles wound up being sprayed by a substance that looked like bleach:

University chancellor C. Mauli Agrawal later issued a statement condemning Knowles for expressing views that “do not align with our commitment to diversity and inclusion and our goal of providing a welcome environment to all people, particularly to our LGBT community.”

FYI, Knowles’ lecture had been titled “Men Are Not Women.” That should not be an offensive opinion since it’s a fact …

“At an academic institution where you have a speaker expressing ideas, there’s no room for a heckler’s veto where you simply shout down or scream down a speaker so that they cannot articulate views,” DeSantis said Monday at FSU.

The commonplace aversion to facts seen at the University of Missouri – Kansas City is what DeSantis is seeking to stamp out. And yes, it’s affected the Sunshine State numerous times.

Watch as left-wing students tear down “Build the Wall” flags that’d been displayed by the University of Florida’s Young Americans for Freedom chapter back in late February:


DeSantis’ resolution has been thus far well received, with at least 13 college/university presidents signing it and numerous commentators throughout the state expressing approval.

The Tampa Bay Times’ entire editorial board also came out in support of it.

“Gov. Ron DeSantis is right to push for all of Florida’s colleges and universities to declare every viewpoint should be open for discussion on campus, even ones that students may ‘loathe’ or find ‘deeply offensive,'” the board wrote in an editorial published a day after DeSantis’ visit to FSU.

They continues, “The whole point of the liberal arts is to sharpen a student’s thinking and to expose her to a range of ideas, many with which she will disagree. Adopting a common message in favor of free speech would send an unambiguous message about freedom of expression.”

The reaction on social media to the governor’s resolution has been similar:



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