University of Chicago students refuse to be canceled, launch conservative site in response to intolerant hate

Two young, conservative female students at the University of Chicago are bucking the cancel culture trend in America and have launched a digital newspaper espousing free speech called The Chicago Thinker.

The paper rejects the coddling of students and promotes conservative and Libertarian viewpoints. Audrey Unverferth and Evita Duffy are the founders of the newspaper and their mission statement reads: “Some things are too sacred to surrender to the mob, and the free exchange of ideas is one of them. The Chicago Thinker challenges the mob’s crusade against free speech by publishing thoughtful conservative and Libertarian commentary, in addition to fact-driven reporting.” Their motto is “Outthink the Mob.”

They go on to say: “As University of Chicago President Hanna Holborn Gray once proclaimed: ‘[E]ducation should not be intended to make people comfortable, it is meant to make them think. Universities should be expected to provide the conditions within which hard thought, and therefore strong disagreement, independent judgment, and the questioning of stubborn assumptions, can flourish in an environment of the greatest freedom.’ The University of Chicago must not coddle its students by allowing their ‘stubborn assumptions’ to go unquestioned. Instead, the university possesses a duty to expose its students to numerous and varied ideas, thereby making them uncomfortable: ‘[A] good university, like Socrates, will be upsetting.'”

The site is getting massive attention from media outlets such as The Wall Street Journal and Fox News. The Wall Street Journal editorial board encouraged the venture by showing their support for a “new journal from students who refuse to be canceled.”

Video Credit: Fox News

“Self-censorship on campus has really become a sickness. I’ve experienced cancel culture, so has Audrey and other people we know, and at one point this summer, we said we are done,” Duffy boldly proclaimed in an interview with Steve Doocy on “Fox & Friends” Wednesday.

According to Duffy, they launched the website “to give people the courage to actually say what they think in the classroom, which is supposed to be the one place where you are supposed to think for yourself and have open debate,”

Three-quarters of students on their campus are allegedly liberal, 15 percent are moderate, and 10 percent are conservative. The university itself says it does not support trigger warnings, safe spaces, or canceling speakers because others disagree with them politically which seems to align with the policies of The Chicago Thinker.

“But that’s exactly why we founded the Chicago Thinker, to challenge that and show conservative and Libertarian principles deserve to be defended, we deserve a voice and it is really important that we do partake in the battle of ideas on campus,” Unverferth stated.

Unverferth confirmed that most of the politically active student body is “not supportive of our speech.” The girls have reportedly received a lot of hateful correspondence concerning their endeavor.

“But I think what is more important than all the hate that we get from students is the amount of beautiful messages that we get from students and professors actually who are so happy that we are doing this, and giving them the courage to stand up,” Duffy posited.

Duffy describes herself as a conservative Hispanic woman. She was bullied, threatened, and harassed after she stated that creeping socialism was far more insidious and dangerous than the coronavirus in a University of Chicago Instagram message concerning the importance of voting.

“For opposing socialism, I received an onslaught of online hate and real threats of violence. My peers attacked my character, intellect, family, and appearance. I was called a racist and a xenophobe, compared to animals, and told I deserve to be bullied and that I don’t belong at the University of Chicago on account of my beliefs. When I received a death threat from one of my classmates, I decided to write an op-ed, sharing my side of the story and defending what I wrote on my whiteboard,” wrote Duffy at The Federalist.

That experience along with others involving speaker censorship inspired the creation of The Chicago Thinker.

“We launched this summer because we believed it was time for conservatives and Libertarians to speak up on our campus,” editor and publisher Audrey Unverferth told The College Fix.

“The University of Chicago is renowned for the Chicago Principles, meaning that the school very vehemently defends free speech, but even though those students don’t get in trouble for saying the wrong thing on campus from the administration, they are often penalized for wrongthink by their peers,” Unverferth stated.


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