Youngkin says he’s ‘extremely worried’ about free speech on college campuses

During a free speech summit at the University of Virginia this past week, Gov. Glenn Youngkin said he was “extremely worried about the state of our college and university campuses.”

In attendance at the summit were representatives from every public college in Virginia along with leaders from numerous private schools.

Representatives from the various colleges and universities at the event drafted plans to support free speech in a more proactive way, and those plans are expected to be reviewed by Virginia’s education secretary.

“How do we ask serious questions and foster informed debate so that we can importantly get to critical answers?” Youngkin asked. “We have to challenge conventional wisdom. Challenging beliefs and fostering an environment for these debates is exactly why we exist.”

Americans view college campuses as far friendlier to liberals than to conservatives when it comes to free speech, with adults across the political spectrum seeing less tolerance for those on the right, according to a new poll.

Forty-seven percent of adults said liberals have “a lot” of freedom to express their views on college campuses, while 20% said the same of conservatives, according to polling from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and the University of Chicago Forum for Free Inquiry and Expression.

Around 4 in 10 Democrats said liberals can speak their minds freely on campuses, while about 3 in 10 Democrats said conservatives can do so, the poll stated.

In September, a conservative Princeton University professor named Robert George was shouted down while discussing free speech at Washington College in Maryland.

Republicans see a double standard on college campuses as 9% said conservatives can speak their minds, while 58% said liberals have that freedom, according to the poll.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Nick Iannelli

Nick Iannelli can be heard covering developing and breaking news stories on WTOP.

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