WRKO>Audio & Video on Demand>>Free Speech on Campus?

Free Speech on Campus?

Mar 4, 2009|

Is there free speech at Harvard? Of course not - it's a liberal university. Attorney Harvey Silverglate, a candidate for the Board of Overseers at Harvard, objects to the oppression of speech at Harvard and tells us why.

Transcript - will not be 100% accurate

Smile Bob by certain groups so it's a grievance industry that's out the -- How this -- -- doing his best to break about the grievance industry and I loved what he still would hate having thanks for joining us are. Gary gentlemen and -- -- a winning RBI chuck Feinberg in May -- death apparently you're taking it beyond the courtroom when you have fought on behalf of individuals. You're taking it to allowed your place a place called how the university you are a candidate for what the board of overseers. Yeah I collected enough signatures 219. -- alumni. To be on the ballot for our Harvard's second most powerful governing body the -- -- overseas. All this is great stuff and so tell me Leo and as people say hey -- -- why should I vote for you as opposed you know Joe blow who is already on the board of overseers. What is it that youth media hobby it needs and that you would bring. Well first or reason to vote for me. Is that I am not the establishment candidate. Who list of candidates for is selected each year by the leadership of the -- by association. And you don't expect any bowl rocky. From from that group -- I just decided they have to all of these years. Criticizing universities including Harvard not only -- of course from the outside. And having won a lot of cases individual cases nonetheless we really haven't changed the culture little. And so I decided to try to get inside and try to change the culture from the inside. On the revolution the revolutionaries come -- in the back door that's as good at the door at I -- not. I'm I'm hoping that. There were it not for alumni who actually follow what goes Robert harper. That don't understand the importance of getting the reform Q what -- the vote army. It is April they -- out there I'd like to 340000. Living alumni. I think like Chicago like -- only that would -- alarmed by the ones who. Quote. -- about it a Mac -- couple locally. -- -- They did most accounts the ballot so Harvey what -- don't know what's going out early April Harvey what's going on their politically that you could intervene on that the average. Listener to WRQ Mike get excited about. Well first of all. Just like any other drug campus in the country they do have a speech codes or that -- PR department to do we did not visit. Which is amazing because -- writing in its in this two and -- -- and you're not allowed to say anything it's really going to get anybody upset. Who you go on the basis -- you know various categories like race gender. Sexual orientation and things of that nature and I don't see economic campus and not allow people say things that sometimes. I ask you something we -- say there's a there's a statement and the handbook there's punishments if you say something that offense okay. Is it better and -- to lead this is that my my biggest gripe is the wave of punishment system operates Colby administrative board. And the administrative thwarted in Horford. -- like -- a lot of other places by which the worst in the country they have it's completely secret. It's one completely. Our administrators. There were few professors on it now and then there were no students on it. Students are not who were accused of not allowed. To present evidence that the administrative board -- -- witnesses. There and administrative border points won older. Who goes round of interviews of witnesses. And then reports back to the awards so that the actual witnesses are not before the board. The student doesn't get to testify before the. What are the data hungry are you making it sound like there's no due process which is yeah I bet that's that's final at Harvard is not the government and there's no right to due process in a private university unit you know. That's question replied if it was the right we would go to court when I don't go to the university likely possibility is -- That's brilliant if you cannot tell you when Greg anyway I would. Let hubby -- and hello plane is it. Precisely because. Because private institution. Is that you can't go to court order to get these rights and that's why don't have to be enacted by the university and. And I want to weigh in in the system -- tell us exactly where your complaint is before when he rips you apart for rip them apart cargo cult our bond. I just hey hello why is why why can't these not to be treated me like not permitted -- -- -- maybe it's better to do this right hobby can you. An example of the case that you worked Don. Individual ridiculous accusation ridiculous kangaroo court I think -- as a great point -- listeners want to know. How does this relate how the important we all know how that's important and if you win it's gone about revolutionary thing shot heard round the world does what I've been Colin. But a lot of people would not be as aware of as Wendy might be and taught myself some of these read particulates cases. That have been brought against people for up certain things that they said. Well my most recent case with the case where presenting this student. Who was accused the -- -- another student that's cheating because two exams. Looked pretty much the same. And the the members of the board were convinced that they had gotten together and collaborated. There is no evidence in the fact that the exam with civil and. You're talking about their work on the exams yeah. -- -- they lost both of the students out and only asking that -- one of the students confessed that that's student. Actually got an occasion. To see you damn paper the other one and copy it. Now -- -- all of the pad they head into real Hillary and had been the kind hearing that we orders for example. Accustomed to and every other area. Not just talking about court you know you have. Harvey what you're talking about that's great that Harvard did then. They're they're trying to make -- no outs one guy one guy didn't cheat I don't -- they would they try -- it did and I did cheated could have said something sooner that's the problem yeah. Now he did they left data and he was not allowed to have a real Hillary. And had he allowed that would feel out if he was throughout the have a real hearing he could for example you could show them -- Okay I meant every you know what I got that's not a free speech -- I don't do it I what is that I want to -- guilty to a free speech issue I asked about I'm looking for free speech. And I can I ask a question -- because I don't if you noticed but I recently. That filed a Clinton you know I filed the claim against Harvard for it would add that the Department of Education. How does that have a right four -- listen I want to ask him about this because. I do OCR work which is also a way of getting the federal government to what model is our OCR stands for the office for civil rights under the Department of Education they enforce certain codes of behavior. With regard to speech that rises to the level of harassment based on race gender and separate -- we stopped about what do you got a case. -- stated yeah -- you'd just -- you made the mistake. Also confuse things harassment and speak. I would Q what if question I was going just a I think you and I would agree. That it's speech rises to the level of harassment which is to say the behavior amounts to severe or pervasive offensive conduct based on. Gender race ethnicity religion and so -- You don't have a beef with the fact that schools regulate hundred dress that yours I want to ask you what kind of speech are you concerned about the doesn't rise to the level of harassment that's considered. Political correctness gone -- Speech which which -- -- hot button social issues. Which are perfectly acceptable art college campus. And even if you think that it wouldn't be acceptable in a radio program. Our attempt this should be able to say upsetting things. About race for example about both superiority and inferiority of races these divisions. Which simply can't be discussing campuses Larry Summers. That balance from the presidency of -- because he was saying politically incorrect things about women in science. And it's Larry Summers wasn't allowed to get away with it would with and by the way there -- a lot of people who read it Somerset but they were afraid to say it. If this. Summer couldn't get away with it students can't get away with a painted they're totally at the mercy of the kangaroo court. The -- been correct speech -- orbit in secret here. Are there any examples of what happened -- Larry Summers happening to regular folk at Harvard. Yes -- -- actually a long article about one infamous case -- Harvard Law School involved in group of students from -- -- view. Who -- -- parity. -- -- an article -- of the published in the -- lower view that was had been written. By any professor who ended up tragically being murdered on the street Mary -- for Mary Jo Rupp. At this students who wrote that parity. Charges were brought against them. For that type network -- -- about a parity every time these kinds of -- is the calm before the US Supreme Court date have been unanimous. According first demand for. What kind of charges are you talking about the campus -- -- If slow but sure that there would confirm that -- affordable -- school they wanted to throw disputes out for writing this disrespectfully. -- Toward me deceased. Murdered. A professor. -- to -- -- Ed board got a case he is board says that about ten and twelve years ago the board said. Well we can't throw them out because there is no speech code here that the law school and guess what. Greeting one year of the faculty would only -- descendants. About the speech code that specifically. Oh lord that. I I don't see the problem it sounds like a business running itself the way wants to run its business is -- I don't I don't want to beat part of -- without. That America will take of I want. Being part of the management of that university. Have been. Clients to their fears were definitely have to believe in -- All right but your doc I don't know what's happening if you are telling us about somebody who are run off campus because they supported George Bush -- some that we can all relate to the needed to step and. All -- -- if you -- your particular issues and other people -- their particular issues but government campus. You know should be allowed this very pretty much what you want -- why -- -- Wouldn't fired at a crowd of won't -- No no no -- every going to be surprised to -- to say I I don't want you to be the king over the air but I would like -- have a seat at the table 'cause I think no matter how your views. Field to the environment you should have a say because all voices matter that's how much I care about free speech even though I disagree with some of what you stand for and some of what you and I might disagree about whether whether harassment whether speech rises to level of harassment I can imagine new and I disagree about the but I would still want -- -- -- -- the -- He is a real pro wrestling tournament. Yeah girls -- Now we -- that we got to do a little FaceBook have a FaceBook. -- still look like -- still well let's -- Kevin from being of his as a real person and apparently might have an example -- hey Kevin -- the only hobby silverlight. The connotations I don't think people really are better at college yet to -- I'm just reach particular prepared to be. -- protest about it. I want a Colby College in Waterville Maine it got a lot of time magazine today and it just -- -- -- -- in the main -- that's congregation area. Duct tape all out there approach at an -- you're not culturally insensitive Hawaii and lull. To protest let's calling back and cliche. Like can I just point something out of Kobe of course as the same problems or Alvarez. Like it's fine to protest the wheel well. Acted a little. If students who are involved in such a little well shouldn't get charge. And that's what the problem but I don't care student protests insensitivity. That's part of free speech. What I do care about could be incidents that we pad them out without the mid Graham -- would -- the order campuses. -- Massachusetts and elsewhere where students get prosecuted for being -- of. Quote you know what bothers me. I don't know other Mario and -- realize -- -- liberal institutions they have no tolerance especially for free speech. Not true that's true look at that this is a complicated question but you know what bothers me even more -- The hierarchy of isms and how certain types of speech gets punished really harshly and other types of speech does not and you know what I'm gonna say about this if you do something racially insensitive at Harvard somebody in charge put their finger up to the wind and blue we'd better do something about this you say something insulting about women as a class. And nobody cares that I -- how true that is not true -- but I think aliens. Got to know what is not RBI want to ask you -- I don't probe parity 17 disparity that but -- -- is that was some time ago it was a very sensitive issue marriage. We love it and the parity was disgusting and I would've allowed them to say if I don't I want to -- it was like I -- Parity aren't going to let you don't look I'm here. People would say universities need to have a lot of openness around speech they also need to be leaders and sets stages -- enter and in house it is awestruck critics say don't I -- -- -- -- all right make those phone calls are going to ask you something do you promise to -- where you. Are you going to. Beat fear when the speech is offensive to women verses of race verses religion Orioles and -- you -- are you gonna screaming out about all these isms with equal force. Oh wait a minute what do you mean by KOR I don't. And it. -- yeah a question of the subject is simple answer. Yeah afterwards I don't believe in censorship of any speech and therefore of course some of it before they Eric I don't have hands -- All of that's all oral speech. Very it's so make your phone -- So campus that's open to different ideas. Of dog racial sexual and gender sexual orientation superiority art and let it correct yes say it'll just let it rip it's it's a debate of ideas. That's correct. That's what academia is all about we have forgotten that not only -- orbit but all over the. How do we have a lot of how the listeners another stop me in the street all the time so they should just be lookin' out on the outlook for their are you out on the lookout for the ballot. -- other riders in the first week of April. And dead may have. Until sometime in the in the -- To check -- more often and patient drove me yet there's one other petition candidate Robert Friedman. Sounds like a revolution is under way -- -- still look like you're all about -- -- -- really you know those who have written or. At our practically as we speak obvious silverlight lets it get bad great we get tab we got a crazy and clouded calendar and -- and he had. How will let you go -- -- keep us posted on how that's going out the and knock them dead if you win this about it that is really.