President Schill makes defense of free speech in NYT op-ed

UO President Michael Schill

UO President Michael H. Schill defended free speech rights and condemned those seeking to silence opposing views in a column published in the New York Times.

The Oct. 23 op-ed, headlined “The Misguided Student Crusade Against ‘Fascism,’” followed a student protest earlier this month that disrupted Schill’s state of the university address and forced him to deliver his remarks via prerecorded video. He said that kind of silencing works against the protesters’ interests.

“I have nothing against protest,” Schill writes. “… But the tactic of silencing, which has been deployed repeatedly at universities around the country, only hurts these activists’ cause. Rather than helping people who feel they have little power or voice, students who squelch speech alienate those who are most likely to be sympathetic to their message.”