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Free Speech On College Campuses

Middlebury College
Student protesters disrupt speaker Charles Murray.

A recent Gallup poll of college students found that a majority of students think that colleges shouldn’t restrict speech on campus just because some political views are controversial or unpopular. But lately, disruptive protests of controversial speakers have again brought the issue of free speech front and center. 

Recently at Middlebury College in Vermont, author Charles Murray -- known for his writing on eugenics -- was shouted down and publicly harassed. And U.C. Berkeley saw violent protests that caused the school to cancel a talk by right-wing commentator Milo Yiannopolous.

How do colleges balance the first amendment rights of speakers and protesters?

This hour, we explore these issues. And hear about a program in New Haven that offers an alternative to the traditional juvenile justice system. Project Youth Court leaves the sentencing to peers, not adults.


  • Scott Jaschik - Co-founder and editor at Inside Higher Ed
  • Elizabeth Siyuan Lee - Senior at Middlebury College
  • Robert Shibley - Civil liberties attorney and Executive Director of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE)
  • Ferentz Lafargue - Director of the Center for Cultural Engagement at Catholic University
  • Lori Mack - WNPR reporter 

Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.


Lucy is the Executive Producer and Host of Connecticut Public's morning talk show, 'Where We Live.' She’s a longtime public radio reporter covering several beats including immigration, juvenile justice and child welfare issues, education, veterans affairs and the military.
Catie Talarski is Senior Director of Storytelling and Radio Programming at Connecticut Public.
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