On-campus bias response teams can undermine free speech

Madison Rexroat

Campus protests have become even more popular in the past year as students express their political views and denounce hate speech. But at what point does protesting hate speech become infringing upon the First Amendment?

Many college campuses have created “bias response teams” that encourage students to learn about and avoid hateful or discriminatory speech. If a student hears something from another student or group that they feel is offensive or discriminatory, they can report their concerns to a bias response team of fellow students, school administrators, and sometimes campus police officials.

Bias response teams are meant to protect and support minority students and discourage exclusionary practices, but some believe that while they might have good intentions, these teams could be unconstitutional.

Monitoring speech of any kind is risky business, but “investigating” student speech (based on hearsay or otherwise) could lead to infringement of free speech and homogeneity – rather than diversity – of thought. While they do offer support for offended students and encourage more considerate speech, the reality of bias response teams has yet to reach a responsible balance.

To read the full article by USA Today College, click here.