Students Keep "No Platforming" Contentious Speakers. Should They Stop?

Perspective Writers' Votes
Loading Discussion

Students are the ones most impacted by what happens at their universities. Thus, they should have significant say over what happens at their school.

Pros
Cons
  • This is especially true for no-platforming that occurs regarding a commencement speaker, as commencement exists specifically to honor those who are graduating, thus their desires should hold extra weight.

  • Several surveys point out that students support no-platform policies.

  • Student unions have the right and indeed the responsibility to set standards to protect the safety and well-being of students.

  • Students navigate university in a disadvantaged position relative to other members of the academic community. Their safety should be protected by giving them the power to "no-platform" facist and hate speech.

  • Any enforcement of a potential ban against no-platforming would serve to exacerbate existing patterns of systemic oppression against the grievances of marginalized voices.

  • Where university fees are fully paid by students, then the customer's wish should be accounted for as by any business and government/politicians should not intervene

  • Students do not set the curriculum or research agenda of their schools. By the same token, they should not expect to set the school's public lecture schedule.

  • Students are only at schools for a short time, meaning they have no reason to care about the long term image or impact of their decisions on the school.

  • Students go to school to learn; perhaps most importantly, to learn how to think when exposed to the universe of ideas never arbitrarily limited by their own lack of imagination and experience.

  • That students should have significant say over what happens at their school has no bearing on the question of whether they should keep the no platforming policy or not.

  • Students who are in favour of hearing a particular speaker should, then, have the right to bring them in.

  • Many student organizations, such as student governments or unions, claim they represent the voice of the students but actually hold much different views because of low student participation/voting turnout in such groups.