Financial expert Charles Koch and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg facilitated an opinion and editor discussion panel. This took place Thursday evening on May 12. It addressed concerns about possible threat of free speech at universities located all across the nation.
One of the primary objectives of this op-ed evening was to advocate more tolerance of independent thinking. Koch and Bloomberg both spoke out, saying that college campuses should “stop stifling free speech and coddling intolerance for controversial ideas.” These two men addressed issues specifically pertaining to college campuses.
One form of speech control that now occurs on university sites is the implementation of “speech codes,” or use of “trigger warnings.” Other forms of regulating what people say on campus includes those related to “safe places” and microaggressions. Within all of three methods of trying to avoid offensiveness, controversial speakers are being declined invitations.
“By doing so, colleges are creating a climate of intellectual conformity that discourages open inquiry, debate and true learning,” said both Charles Koch and Bloomberg in their own way.
They also went on to say in their own way that colleges are attempting to increase the shielding of students from uncomfortable or offensive ideas. The warning concerning this by Koch, Bloomberg and others is that it could threaten the future of higher education. In addition, they say that it could also put a damper on the concept of living in a free and democratic society.
Both Charles Koch and Michael Bloomberg seem to advocate the belief that students should have an open and questioning mind. This type of education, as they appear to be saying, would be better for students than if they were to have closed and self-righteous minds.