U of Illinois mulls 'substantial consequences' for 'non-inclusive behavior'
University of Illinois student government is seriously considering a proposal that would mandate "substantial consequences" to student organizations that engage in what is termed "non-inclusive behavior."
They can't quite describe what that behavior is. But they'll know it when they see it.
In defense of the bill, Student Senate Vice President Spencer Haydary said that free speech isn't absolute, and that hate speech should result in "consequences, repercussions, whatever you want to call it," according to The Daily Illini.
The bill asks the administration "to create more substantial consequences for communities, such as registered student organizations, registered organizations, related organizations, and Greek organizations, involved in behavior that is not culturally inclusive, engaged in acts of intolerance, or engaged in acts that violate community standards."
Campus Reform reports that the bill came in a response to activist demands for formal sanctions against a fraternity and sorority that hosted a theme party at which some guests wore sombreros.
Illinois's Student Senate has no actual power—thank goodness—and so the bill isn't actually much of a threat to free speech on campus. Still, it's illustrative of the stupidity of the kind of person who gets elected to the Student Senate. Contrary to popular belief, the Supreme Court has never recognized a "hate speech" exception to the First Amendment: public universities are unquestionably required to permit students to engage in kinds of expression that other people might subjectively describe as hateful.
Totalitarianism is alive and well at U of I.
This makes the very concept of free speech meaningless. The First Amendment exists not to protect speech most people find acceptable. It's there specifically to protect unpopular views and utterances. In this case, a political faction at the school want to narrowly define speech in such a way that they become the final arbiters of what should be allowed and what shouldn't. There is rarely a clearer example of the totalitarian impulse on college campuses today.