Former Brown University student Rob Montz, who graduated in 2005 with a degree in philosophy, has released a 13 minute documentary film that voices his concerns about the suppression of free speech at his alma mater. The film has polarized students and faculty, some saying it uses hyperbole and shock value, while others say it is entirely accurate.
Fox News reports on the effects Montz’ film has had on campus discourse at Brown:
The film, which has garnered hundreds of thousands of views since its release earlier this month on the web channel We the Internet TV, makes use of video from events on campus along with professor and student interviews to depict the anti-speech climate at Brown.
"Universities foster an environment where the exchange of ideas can lead to deepening of our human understanding," Economics Professor Glenn Loury, a self-described liberal and supporter of Hillary Clinton, says in an interview. "These institutions are a fragile and precious achievement. This idea that we’re going to shut you up because we don’t like what you say -- that’s the enemy of this achievement. That’s what’s at stake."
Footage reveals incidents in which university administrators shut down events after student protesters aggressively chastised speakers for their divergent opinions, including a 2013 lecture by former NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly in support of stop-and-frisk laws.
The following year, fury directed at campus guest speaker Wendy McElroy, a self-described feminist who has been critical of campus policies on sexual harassment and zero tolerance, was amplified by Brown University President Christina Paxson, who set up a competing lecture and released a campus-wide email condemning the speaker’s opinions on rape culture.
Such cases are indicative of a systemic flaw within universities, riddled with liberal faculty members who almost exclusively “converse with other people who share these ideological prejudices” and who have been allowed to “sit in their self-righteousness for decades,” Montz said.
Montz explained why he decided to make the film and the broader message it should carry to its viewers:
“[Universities] train the next generation of people who are going to run this country,” said Montz, who will be speaking to students about free speech and screening his film on campuses this fall. “If you fail to impart in them this very basic value, that’s going to affect how they run their businesses or the city council.”
Christian Union works closely with students attending Brown and others with similar campus climates. This is the challenging context in which students of today are being shaped as the leaders of tomorrow. Students are encouraged to understand what free speech means in the United States, what are its legal protections and limitations, and when it is being suppressed on these campuses, in order to encourage and promote positive changes on their own campuses.
August 19, 2016
Former Brown Student Decries PC Campus Culture
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