Wednesday, September 28, 2022
Those watching recent events at Yale might be surprised to hear that the university has made any commitment to free speech. Earlier this year, protesters with no apparent sense of irony shouted down a panel on free speech at Yale Law School. In October of last year, Yale Law School administrators pressured a Native American student to apologize for using the term “trap house” in a party invitation. In January 2021, a group of psychiatry residents complained to the chair of the department that a lecture was “traumatizing” because the speaker had joked about being surprised to find an artisanal coffee shop in rural Ohio.
Yale has continued to plummet in free-speech rankings. The Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE) recently ranked Yale 198th out of 203 schools for free speech. Yale was ranked 106th for student comfort in expressing ideas among peers and professors on campus; 150th for administrative support for free speech; and 184th for student acceptance of shouting down or even violently preventing speech with which they disagree (a high ranking on this measure would indicate student opposition to such behavior).