New education legislation in Florida asks public universities to survey students and faculty about their political beliefs to promote ‘intellectual diversity.’
FBA has previously reported, “House Bill 233 aims to promote freedom of thought and speech on university campuses. Institutions will be required to ‘conduct annual assessments of the viewpoint diversity and intellectual freedom at their institutions to ensure that Florida’s postsecondary students will be shown diverse ideas and opinions, including those that they may disagree with or find uncomfortable.’” Those in opposition to the legislation suggest the law is authoritarian and seeks to monitor institutions.
As the Tampa Bay Times reports, “University faculty members have worried the new measure could create a chilling effect on their freedom of speech. Democratic lawmakers also have argued the bill might allow politicians to meddle in, monitor and regulate speech on campus in the future.”
In defense of the bill, De Santis said, “It used to be thought that a university campus was a place where you’d be exposed to a lot of different ideas. Unfortunately, now the norm is, these are more intellectually repressive environments. You have orthodoxies that are promoted, and other viewpoints are shunned or even suppressed.”