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Unpublished Paper
Promoting Inclusion through Exclusion: Higher Education's Assault on the First Amendment
ExpressO (2015)
  • Adam Lamparello

To obtain a meaningful educational experience and achieve the benefits of a diverse student body, students should confront beliefs they find abhorrent and discuss topics that bring discomfort. As it stands now, universities are transforming classrooms and campuses into sanctuaries for the over-sensitive and shelters for the easily-offended. In so doing, higher education is embracing a new, and bizarre, form of homogeneity that subtly coerces faculty members and students into restricting, not expressing, their views, and creating a climate that favors less, not more, expressive conduct. This approach undermines First Amendment values and further divorces higher education from the real world.

The purpose of attending college or graduate school is not merely to acquire knowledge or develop expertise in a chosen field. Students must learn how to interact with people, how to cope with distasteful behavior, and how to learn and respond to adversity. When universities avoid rather than acknowledge the world in which we live, they cultivate a mindset that implicitly views diversity as less, not more, desirable, and that shuns, rather than embraces, a true marketplace of ideas where all viewpoints are welcomed. In a society that values democracy, autonomy, and individuality, nothing is more poisonous or antithetical to the pursuit of knowledge.

  • first amendment,
  • college campuses,
  • free speech,
  • microagressions,
  • trigger warnings,
  • diversity,
  • bakke v. regents of the university of california
Publication Date
September 12, 2015
Citation Information
Adam Lamparello. "Promoting Inclusion through Exclusion: Higher Education's Assault on the First Amendment" ExpressO (2015)
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