An Indicator or an Outlier at the University of Denver?


I fear the University of Denver is more an indicator than an outlier:

Members of two conservative groups at the University of Denver say their organizations are likely disbanding after investigations by the university and pervasive harassment by fellow students have made the campus a “toxic environment” for their groups.

The school’s chapter of Young Americans for Freedom debated closing at the end of last year, with its members fearful that they would be unable to land jobs after being investigated for “hate speech” and labeled racists and white supremacists in, among other places, the school newspaper. The group remains on campus, but with severely reduced numbers.

The Federalist Society there, meanwhile, has dwindled to a single student, and is set to shut down at the end of the year when the last remaining member graduates. Pervasive bullying and concerns about being called racist induced many of its members to depart this year.

Conservative students are getting a taste of what it’s like to be constantly under attack, and many are explicitly worried about what might happen to their future job prospects when they’re publicly labeled — even with no basis whatsoever — as racists and -phobes.  When one side of public discourse treats the other side’s opinions as not only illegitimate, but a form of violence, and when the people who control our society’s institutions don’t enforce neutral rules, standing up for principles crosses over from a brave learning experience to a potentially reckless eccentricity.  Better just to keep quiet.

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I’m still hopeful that the United States can snap back from this (with the help of us reckless eccentrics), but that isn’t assured.  In any event, we’re certainly getting a lesson in how a society can slide from freedom and dynamism into of suppression and injustice.


    Excellent. Our march to to a progressive freedom-filled, tolerant society moves forward.

  • BasicCaruso

    I fully support students’ right to reference Minor Threat lyrics.

  • Monique Chartier

    Wow, scary stuff. And undoubtedly, all of the people who participated in hounding out open debate and free speech by creating this toxic environment would consider themselves pro-free speech and First Amendment.

    • ShannonEntropy

      Take it from someone who was a member of the faculty of Brown U for 24 yrs … modern college students are NOT for “free speech” &/or Pro-1st Amendment

      • Monique Chartier

        Not good, Shannon.

      • Mike678

        Perhaps an over-generalization. The thugs we see in the media shutting down views contrary to their own aren’t usually STEM majors–more “studies” majors angry at a free market system that doesn’t reward fact-free opinion and/or sloth. These twits are enabled by spineless administrators.