The University’s campus in Gainesville, Florida, has the second-most “free speech” zones, according to a report released Thursday.
The study by the conservative American Principles Project found that campus “safe spaces” allow for “a degree of speech that is inherently political,” and that “some students and faculty may not be willing to say anything at all about controversial issues,” including topics such as race, sexual orientation and gender identity.
“These spaces may be seen as a means to foster a sense of safe space in which the speaker is safe from harassment or violence, but also from negative and sometimes violent reactions,” the report found.
A “free-speech zone” is a term used by students, faculty and staff to describe areas that are open to all.
The “safe zones” in the study include the front of the main building, inside the campus quad and inside the quad itself, as well as a smaller area at the bottom of the stairwell.
It was compiled using data collected in 2013 by the Florida Office of the Governor’s Office of Civil Rights, and included information on the number of days students, staff and faculty were allowed to speak to each other and their views on a range of topics.
The survey also looked at the number and type of students, including gender, race, religion and sexual orientation.
The most-frequented topics included climate change and the environment, but not abortion, according the report.