Harvard Worst College In America When It Comes To Free Speech, Survey Says

Printed from: https://newbostonpost.com/2023/09/07/harvard-worst-college-in-america-when-it-comes-to-free-speech-survey-says/

Harvard University finished dead last in free speech in a survey of colleges in the United States released Wednesday.

Harvard got the lowest possible ranking of the 248 schools, and was the only one rated “Abysmal.”

“Further, Harvard’s overall score of 0.00 is generous – its actual score is −10.69, more than six standard deviations below the average …” says a report from The Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression.

The country’s oldest college got the low marks for “deplatforming” speakers on campus, incidents in which speakers were shouted down by people in the audience, and the relatively low comfort level students say they have in expressing controversial opinions on campus.

The study quotes one anonymous student saying the student avoids posting on controversial topics on social media “because I am afraid that they might be misconstrued by my classmates or admin.” Another student, according to data supplied with the rankings, is quoted as saying “Every time we were instructed to introduce ourselves by stating pronouns.”

The Harvard data is based on comments from 209 students who go there or recently graduated, according to the rankings.

Some 36 percent of students said they’d be “somewhat uncomfortable” publicly expressing disagreement with a professor, while 38 percent said they’d be “very uncomfortably” doing so, according to the data.

A spokesman for Harvard could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

Another Massachusetts school also scored low – Boston College, at number 229.

The survey includes quotes from 16 anonymous students at Boston College, most saying they fear expressing opinions that conflict with their professor’s opinions.


Other Massachusetts schools surveyed ranked as follows:


78  Worcester Polytechnic Institute

132  University of Massachusetts at Amherst

136  Massachusetts Institute of Technology

138  Brandeis University

145  Williams College

149  Wheaton College

152  Boston University

155  Mount Holyoke College

167  Wellesley College

168  Smith College

183  Tufts University

195  Amherst College

198  Northeastern University


The College Free Speech Survey is based on data from students at the schools. It was collected from January 13, 2023 through June 30, 2023.


Overall, the top five in free speech were:


1.  Michigan Tech

2.  Auburn

3.  University of New Hampshire

4.  Oregon State

5.  Florida State


Overall, the bottom five in free speech were:


244  Fordham

245  Georgetown

246  University of South Carolina

247  University of Pennsylvania

248  Harvard


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