UCLA Professor John Villasenor Finds College Students’ Hostility Towards Free Speech

The Charles Koch Foundation supports scholars and students working to understand and advance a culture that values free expression. We provide grants for research that explores free speech issues—across college campuses, in the media, through arts and culture, and within the ranks of established journalists.

A new national survey, conducted by UCLA public policy professor John Villasenor, uncovers college students’ perceptions and attitudes towards free speech and the law. Among other key findings, Villasenor’s research indicates that more than one in six students believe violence is justifiable in shutting down a controversial speaker. According to Villasenor, these findings demonstrate a pressing need for an open atmosphere of civil debate and early education about its merits. The Foundation supports a range of initiatives examining the issue from varying perspectives, including:

The Charles Koch Foundation welcomes proposals to advance knowledge on this critical topic. For media inquiries, please contact Trice Jacobson, director of strategic communications: trice.jacobson@charleskochinstitute.org.

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