Challenges to Freedom of Speech on College Campuses

Hearing Date: July 27, 2017 9:00 am 2154 Rayburn HOB


  • To identify the harms of infringing on the right to free speech on college campuses. 
  • To explore recommendations on how to encourage and protect First Amendment rights, as well as intellectual and ideological diversity, on college campuses. 
  • To understand administrators’ concerns about public safety and controversial speakers on campus, which sometimes lead to unconstitutional restrictions on free speech.


  • In recent years, failures by college administrators and rising intolerance among college students have led to a number of disturbing and, at times, violent anti-speech incidents on college campuses.
  • While students’ constitutionally protected right to free speech is under attack on campuses, these schools receive billions of dollars each year from federal taxpayers. 
  • Some of the witnesses will be able to speak firsthand about speech suppression on campus, including having been shouted down, threatened, and disinvited.

Witnesses and testimonies

Name Title Organization Panel Document
Ms. Nadine Strossen John Marshall Harlan II Professor of Law New York Law School
Mr. Ben Shapiro Editor-in-Chief The Daily Wire
Mr. Adam Carolla Comedian and Filmmaker No Safe Spaces Documentary
Dr. Michael Zimmerman Former Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs The Evergreen State College
Mr. Frederick Lawrence Secretary and CEO, The Phi Beta Kappa Society Anti-Defamation League