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Push back: Emory University alumini are circulating a petition calling for the university to recommit itself to free speech instead of pandering to protesters demanding “emotional comfort, ideological conformity, and yes, ‘safe environments’.”
The petition was authored by alumni Matthew Walker and Ed Thayer, who said this:
“My Emory experience, which I look upon fondly, was periodically defined by eruptions of illiberal behavior from various student groups, although nothing as shrill and totalitarian as we are witnessing today,” Thayer said, adding that Emory administrators used to err on the side of free speech. “Nowadays they seem inclined to appease the worst intolerant and alarmist instincts of some students, while undercutting the foundations of free speech, tolerance, and a robust debate, which should thrive at a university.
Matthew Walker, for his part, summed up the whole situation in one word: “Unacceptable.”
The article above begins by focusing on how the university president has backed down from his original willingness to support the squelching of free speech. I suspect this pressure from alumni, who with most universities provide a great deal of financial support, is making him rethink his positions.