POLL: 63% of college students feel intimidated sharing their opinions on campus

The William F. Buckley, Jr. Program published its eighth annual survey on college student opinions regarding free speech.

The poll recorded a 13% increase in students who felt intimidated to share their beliefs on campus, a record high.

The William F. Buckley, Jr. Program at Yale University has released the data for its eighth annual college student survey. The poll focused on questions regarding free speech, hate speech, and the validity of the U.S. Constitution.

According to the survey, 63% of the 803 U.S. college students interviewed admitted to feeling intimidated to share opinions, beliefs, or values that differed from those of their peers. 

Similarly, 58% of respondents revealed that they felt “intimidated in sharing an opinion that was different than a professor’s,” an 8% increase from the previous year.

The survey results accorded with the growing hostility towards free speech that has been trending at schools all over the nation in recent years. As Campus Reform reported last year, some colleges have even gone as far as installing warning signs that read, “Attention, free speech being exercised ahead.”

[RELATED: PROF. JENKINS: ‘Hate speech’ is free speech]

Other universities such as Colorado State provide resources to help students who have been “affected” by free speech, according to Campus Reform

Interestingly, the data recorded by the William F. Buckley Jr. survey did not reflect an overly conservative sample population. 

50% of students thought that America was “inextricably linked to white supremacy.” About a third of the students claimed that they would “prefer to live under a socialist system than prefer a capitalist one.” And 78% responded that systemic racism is a dangerous issue in America.

[RELATED: Have you or a loved one been ‘affected’ by ‘free speech?’ Colorado State University has resources to help.]

Along with the survey results, the William F. Buckley, Jr. Program posted a quote from their founder Lauren Noble on their page

“The college student disillusionment with free speech is growing at an alarming pace,” says Noble. “More students are intimidated from speaking freely and more students are willing to intimidate others from speaking freely than at any time in the history of the survey. In many ways, America’s undergraduate student body seems to be abandoning the very ideas that made America the great country it is today.”

Campus Reform contacted the William F. Buckley, Jr. Program, Lauren Noble, and Yale University for comment. This article will be updated accordingly. 

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