Trump Signs Executive Order To Preserve Free Speech On College Campuses

Trump Signs Executive Order To Preserve Free Speech On College Campuses

In a statement released late Thursday afternoon, FIRE told supporters that while its concerned that the government is skating close to defining the parameters of the First Amendment - something no conservative is particularly enthusiastic about - "to the extent that today's executive order asks colleges and universities to meet their existing legal obligations, it should be uncontroversial".

"We're here to take historic action to defend American students and American values", Trump said, according to Fox News.

Inspired by the February 19 incident that didn't involve anyone attending or employed by the University - in which a conservative activist was sucker-punched on camera allegedly by a 28-year-old non-student who was passing through Sproul Plaza - Trump is now sending a message to all universities that they must certify policies protecting free speech or else risk jeopardizing federal research grants. In effect, this means private colleges and universities will have more leeway on restricting free speech than their public counterparts.

The American Council on Education, which represents more than 1,700 college presidents, called the order "a solution in search of a problem".

Her statement said students "should be empowered to pursue truth through the free exchange of all ideas, especially ideas with which they may not agree. Free inquiry is an essential feature of our democracy, and I applaud the president's continued support for America's students". "Although we made every effort to inform the media, not a single outlet reported on the incontestable fact that these conservative student groups hosted a large number of conservative speakers, including Charlie Kirk (founder of Turning Point USA), Rick Santorum, Dennis Prager, Heather MacDonald, Candace Owens, Dave Rubin, Steve Simpson, Antonia Okafor and Allie Stuckey". "The Trump Administration believes that schools should promote free speech and be transparent about their speech policies". "I said you have a better chin than Muhammad Ali". "The Department of Justice can weigh in".

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Debate over campus free speech has flared in recent years following a string of high-profile cases in which protesters shut down or heckled conservative speakers, including at UC Berkeley and Middlebury College in Vermont.

Some colleges leaders have said they worry the order could backfire.

Williams, who is an employee of Campus Reform's parent organization, the Leadership Institute, joined Trump at the White House during the signing Thursday, along with several other conservatives and students who have experienced violations of constitutional rights on college campuses across the country.

Agencies are also expected to be directed to gather information regarding student debt, earnings and default rates across majors from higher education institutions, as it seeks to help prospective students evaluate the quality and prospects of different programs.

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