Free speech on college campuses important for higher education learning
Feb. 12, 2018
The ASU School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership is hosting events to discuss a range of ideas with various points of view. In addition to a monthly lecture series, the school is also hosting a two-day conference, Free Speech and Intellectual Diversity in Higher Education: Implications for American Society.
Paul Carrese, founding director of the School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership, says the events and conference provides the opportunity to have open dialogues in a civil discussion. As an example, a recent event featured a conversation between conservative thinker Robert George and liberal thinker Cornel West. Carrese says that George and West teach courses together on the basis of their disagreements. It’s in order to show the students how to widen their own perspectives and listen to ideas, even when they contradict your own beliefs.
Carrese says it’s only through debate that you can figure out what the truth is, and whether or not your view is right.
“In our information age, people are sorting themselves so they don’t have to listen to anything they don’t already agree with,” Carrese says. “That in part is a reflection of what has happened in some universities and college campuses. Certain views are not taught anymore, seen as not respectable. We want to broaden the range of discourse again, focus on debate and fundamental ideas.”
The director urges students to ask questions and wonder about everything that is shown or said to them. It’s an important part in helping students learn and grow. It doesn’t stop at the universities though, it can extend into our politics as well.
The lecture series has been held once a month since September. The conference will be held on February 23 and 24 at ASU’s Tempe and Downtown Phoenix campuses.