Australian Universities free speech

Universities Need a Free Speech Policy

It appears some worrying trends from US universities have found their way to Australian shores.

Foremost amongst these trends is a growing hostility towards free speech on Australian university campuses.

As a recent report has discovered, only eight of Australia’s 42 universities have an explicit policy that protects intellectual freedom.

Increasingly, these policies are being forced out and are replaced with speech codes.

Speech codes define what can and can’t be said on campus.

It’s absurd to police someone’s tone of voice

Here are a few shocking examples of what this means in practice:

The University of Queensland’s Discrimination and Harassment policy, Western Sydney University’s Bullying Prevention Guidelines, and Charles Sturt University’s Anti-Racism Policy forbid ‘sarcasm’.

Yeah great idea guys, real great idea to ban sarcasm.

Comments like this would be thrown out, and subject to sanction in Orwellian style.

It is simply absurd to police the tone of people’s voices.

Monash University has started introducing the notorious trigger warning into its course guides.

Perhaps most worrying is La Trobe University’s speech code which defines bullying as including ‘unintentional offence’ and students must not use language that causes ‘emotional injury’.

The problem that this creates is that there is no longer an objective standard by which to judge people’s language.

This is generally understood by most to be the concept of common decency.

When you try to regulate the subtle norms of language however, you end up with some dire consequences.

The politically correct brigade in Australia wants to stifle anything you say if they deem it ‘dangerous’, or even if it just hurts someone’s feelings. This free report reveals more.

Universities shouldn’t be silencing individuals

People, particularly people who have political opinions that don’t fit the university mould, will be increasingly silenced.

For fear of causing unintentional offence, and being punished, they will simply stay quiet.

This is entirely the opposite of what universities should be doing.

Universities should be preparing their students for the outside world, a world where they will inevitably encounter opinions that are not to their liking.

There will be no administrators in the outside world to filter out unwanted opinions, and students will need to argue their positions based on reason rather than emotion.

Recently at the University of Sydney, a conservative students club was required to pay costly security fees because of a fear that a speaker was too controversial.

Naturally, an outraged group of students tried to disrupt the event.

This is not how a university should operate, and policies that inhibit free speech and intellectual freedom need to be abolished.

It is more than just a need for students to have thick skin, it is about giving them the best education possible.

An education where they are challenged to defend their views in a civil way — not a shouting match.

For this reason, Australian universities need explicit free speech policies.

Otherwise we won’t just lose one of our most basic rights, we will lose a generation of talented minds to a coddled worldview.

By Lachlann Tierney

Free Report: Australia’s right to free speech is under attack! Discover how a select group of Australians want to stifle your fundamental right to speak your mind — and what you can do help turn the tide.

The Australian Tribune Editorial

The Australian Tribune Editorial

The Australian Tribune is an unorthodox news service. Your Australian Tribune editorial team deliver the unfiltered stories that could impact your daily life — political and economic stories you’re unlikely to get anywhere else. And we’re not afraid to step on some toes to do it. We are honest, conservative and never dull. We are an independent service, meaning we don’t answer to shareholders or outside advertisers. This helps avoid conflicts of interest that inhibit mainstream sources, which keeps our voice independent. The Australian Tribune is owned and operated by Port Phillip Publishing.
Comments: 3

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  1. The army that has put itself in charge of, the way how the world should behave, has a problem that they can not do anything about it. They can control what we want to say publicly, but it hurts them a great deal because they can not stop what someone thinks. What is more, they are aware of it and usually they can tell what you think, but can not pursue it. Ah, well, this all part of Evolution of human behaviour and it is very interesting to peek down into it.
    JL

  2. When policy is put together by those who don’t live in the real world what can one expect.Universities will stick by their policies because they don’t know any better…not a good advertisement for intelligence but reason for keeping their dumb ideas in house where they can manage them and an insight into why there is so much discontent in Academic circles.

  3. Snow flakes who are outraged about everything on behalf of someone else or group, who can’t handle listening to others opinions that don’t align with their ideals should not be at university.
    They should be in a psych ward getting treatment for their mental incapacitation and weakness.
    As the article rightly states… Uni’s should be preparing students for the real-world situations and opinions (racist, bigoted, sexist or otherwise) not insulating them and preventing them from having their own points of view…
    Unfortunately these same type of people are the ones who end up making up these stupid rules when they become the leaders running the Universities themselves, so it self perpetuates.
    They’re also the same type of people who end up as hosts or opinionated guests of certain national TV shows which spreads these same sorts of rubbish to the sheeples who watch and believe them!
    It’s become a circus with only clowns… And not funny happy clowns either!
    Inner city w#*%ery…