Trump’s Executive Order on Campus Free Speech Becomes Debatable

donald trump

This post was last updated on April 2nd, 2019 at 01:21 pm

Donald Trump’s two-year presidency did yield a number of opponents for bringing several reforms in America. But, one thing has remained a constant, that is, the right to free speech. The media, people, and even the President himself are frequently seen expressing their opinions plainly.

Trump appeared little different when he promoted free speech on campus, and issued an executive order supporting the cause this month. For a change, he was seen doing something that the people could think of acknowledging.

“Under the guise of ‘speech codes’ and ‘safe spaces’ and ‘trigger warnings,’ universities have tried to restrict free thought, impose total conformity, and shut down the voices of great young Americans,” he stated. “If a college or university doesn’t allow you to speak, we will not give them money. It’s very simple.”

It is being considered that the executive order is a first solid step towards fixing the fundamentals of colleges and universities: securing free questioning and the free exchange of plans. It will bind federal funds to actual measurable reforms ensuring that the American educational institutions allow and guard free expression of ideas and beliefs.

However, as good as it seemed, the measure quickly attracted ample of criticism. “Such measures are intended not to keep speech open, but rather to put universities on notice that they are being watched and will face the consequences if their decisions fall afoul of politics,” said Suzanne Nossel, the executive director of PEN American Center.

Many called it a prescription for chaos. An Inside Higher Ed report quoted Trump’s remarks as “unnecessary” as the colleges and universities already “promote free speech and academic freedom as part of their mission”, implying that the executive order “is a solution in search of a problem.”

Trump’s latest reform was seen as a result of a common belief that campus free expression is not yet a deep-rooted value in the American colleges, at present. Another hindrance that is seen in complete implementation of free speech is the diversified cultures, which makes intellectual uniformity difficult.

The executive order was placed in both good and bad lights. While many believe its crucial for the educational foundation of America, others argue that it is already existing in the roots. As of now, it is too soon to assess what Trump’s new reform will bring to the existing practices.


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