Should colleges be a safe space from controversial speakers like Milo? | The Tylt

Should colleges be a safe space from controversial speakers like Milo?

Controversial right-wing speaker Milo Yiannopoulos is testing the extent of free speech on college campuses with his heavily protested "Dangerous Faggot Tour." Protesters say Milo's presence creates a dangerous environment and encourages harassment of students. He should not be allowed on campus. Milo's supporters say the dangerous environment is caused by the protesters—if they respected the right to free speech, there wouldn't be a problem. What do you think?

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UC Berkeley's chancellor Nicholas Dirks wrote an open letter to the community to explain why the university is allowing the Berkeley College Republicans to host Milo, despite opposition from the student community.

Since the announcement of Mr. Yiannopoulos’s visit, we have received many requests that we ban him from campus and cancel the event. Although we have responded to these requests directly, we would like to explain to the entire campus community why the event will be held as planned. First, from a legal perspective, the U.S. Constitution prohibits UC Berkeley, as a public institution, from banning expression based on its content or viewpoints, even when those viewpoints are hateful or discriminatory. Longstanding campus policy permits registered student organizations to invite speakers to campus and to make free use of meeting space in the Student Union for that purpose.

He finishes his letter to the UC Berkeley community with this quote from UC Irvine Chancellor Howard Gillman:

Universities support free speech and condemn censorship for two reasons — to ensure that positive, helpful, illuminating messages can circulate widely, and to expose hateful or dangerous ideas that, if never engaged or rebutted, would gain traction in the darker corners of our society. Hate speech is like mold: Its enemies are bright light and fresh air.
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Faculty at UC Berkeley wrote a letter in response saying this is not about free speech, it's about preventing harassment of students and staff. Events like Milo's are excuses for harassment, but wrapped in the idea of free speech. His events regularly single out students for harassment. If the school is truly committed to being harassment free—as it must be under Title IX—then it cannot let Milo on campus.

Moreover, Yiannopoulos is inciting — and, indeed, committing — harassment by singling out students as targets of derision for his followers. Such harassment risks violating our obligations under Title IX to provide an environment free of sex- and gender-based harassment — indeed, this speaker’s chronicled behavior sets a model for what we seek not to promote on campus through our own anti-harassment compliance workshops and videos. It is our responsibility to ensure that UC Berkeley students are not subjected to this same treatment Feb. 1.  

The letter goes on to quote from the school's state-mandated sexual harassment training course:

The law prohibits harassment that is discriminatory. Harassment is illegal when individuals are treated differently based on their protected characteristics (race, sex, religion, and so on). Of course, just because behavior isn’t illegal doesn’t mean it’s appropriate. At the University of California, we hold ourselves to a higher standard and strive to promote a culture where everyone is supported to reach their fullest potential. To do that, we need to address problems before they hurt our community.
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FINAL RESULTS
Politics
Should colleges be a safe space from controversial speakers like Milo?
#DefendAllSpeech
A festive crown for the winner
#DontTolerateHate