According to a report recently released by the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE), Harvard University is the worst college in the U.S. for free speech.
FIRE’s report entitled, “2024 College Free Speech Rankings: What Is the State of Free Speech on America’s College Campuses?” revealed that Harvard received the lowest score regarding free speech. The report found the university’s score to be “Abysmal.”
The college’s rating of zero, according to FIRE, was “generous.”
“Its actual score is -10.69, more than six standard deviations below the average and more than two standard deviations below the second-to-last school in the rankings and its Ivy League counterpart, the University of Pennsylvania,” the report indicated.
Really sad & embarrassing for my alma mater. Free speech matters.
You'd think after getting trounced at the Supreme Court last year, Havard would at least pretend to try to care about the First Amendment. https://t.co/UVImsq8jej
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) September 6, 2023
Sean Stevens, FIRE’s director of polling and analytics, told the New York Post that he wasn’t surprised by the report.
“We’ve done these rankings for years now, and Harvard is consistently near the bottom,” Stevens said. “I thought it would be pretty much impossible for a school to fall below zero, but they’ve had so many scholar sanctions.”
Unlike Harvard, Michigan Technological University, Auburn University, the University of New Hampshire, Florida State University, and Oregon State University received the highest free speech ratings.
“Each of the top four schools earned a ‘Good’ speech climate rating, while Florida State earned an ‘Above Average’ rating,” the report stated, according to the Blaze.
“I’m not necessarily surprised that a technological school has a better speech climate, primarily for the reason that they don’t really talk as much about controversial topics,” Stevens told the New York Post. “They’re there to make things work as engineers.”
FIRE’s report surveyed college students, with over 45% saying that it is unacceptable for campus speeches to be shut down because of hecklers or protesters. Over 50% of respondents said they are afraid of being ‘canceled’ for something they’ve said, while 27% said it’s acceptable to use violence in stopping campus speeches.
Nearly 45% of students said that colleges “definitely should not allow” a campus speaker who believes that “transgenderism” is a mental disorder.
“I’d say the state of free speech on campus is stagnant at best, and possibly a little worse than last year,” Stevens stated.