Washington, DC—Congressman Greg Murphy (NC-03) is making the protection of free speech on America’s college campuses a focal point of his work as the Ranking Member on the House Higher Education and Workforce Investment Subcommittee of the House Education and Labor Committee. The American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA) applauds Representative Murphy’s courage and persistent engagement in this critically important cultural issue.
On November 3, 2021, Rep. Murphy introduced House Resolution 770. The summary of the resolution reads, “Expressing support for the First Amendment to the Constitution and its bipartisan impact regarding the protection of free speech as well as academic freedoms for all students and faculty.” The full text of the resolution can be viewed here.
Two days earlier, on November 1, Rep. Murphy hosted the first-ever Campus Free Speech Roundtable in the U.S. Capitol. His co-chairs for the event were House Republican Conference Chair, Rep. Elise Stefanik (NY-21), and Campus Free Speech Caucus co-chair, Rep. Kat Cammack (FL-03).
The roundtable featured presentations by Ed Yingling and Stuart Taylor, Jr., (an ACTA board member), co-founders of Princetonians for Free Speech, and the newly established Alumni Free Speech Alliance (AFSA). AFSA is currently comprised of alumni from six institutions—Princeton University, Cornell University, Davidson College, the University of Virginia, and Washington and Lee University—who advocate that campuses must continue to be sanctuaries for academic freedom where students and faculty can engage in open, robust debate and the unfettered exercise of free speech. In addition, Rep. Murphy heard statements from Connor Murnane and Tyler Coward of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education; Karalee Geis from Young America’s Foundation; Davidson College alumnus Kenny Xu; Washington and Lee University alumna Victoria Guroian; and Cornell University alumnus Raj Kannappan.
The roundtable can be viewed in its entirety here.
“Representative Murphy has proven himself to be a stalwart champion of free speech and viewpoint diversity at institutions of higher education,” said ACTA President Michael Poliakoff. “As a proud graduate and former trustee of Davidson College, he understands how the forces of illiberalism can gain traction on campus. Disturbing threats to the core values of higher education are now burgeoning at colleges all over the country, often at our most prestigious institutions. Students and faculty alike are being intimidated into silence, systematically harassed, ‘canceled,’ and forced out of tenured faculty positions and academic programs. Representative Murphy clearly recognizes that it is a crisis for the nation when students graduate with the habits of illiberalism and carry them into the workplace. ACTA hopes that this straightforward resolution, which contains language drawn directly from the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, will attract sponsors from both political parties: Freedom of speech on campus ought to be everyone’s concern. We thank Representative Murphy for his leadership.”
So far, the resolution has attracted 27 co-sponsors: Brian Babin (TX-36), Gus Bilirakis (FL-12), Dan Bishop (NC-09), Michael Bost (IL-12), Ted Budd (NC-13), Kat Cammack (FL-03), Ben Cline (VA-06), Warren Davidson (OH-08), Byron Donalds (FL-19), Scott Fitzgerald (WI-05), Scott Franklin (FL-15), Darrell Issa (CA-50), Jim Jordan (OH-04), Doug LaMalfa (CA-01), Julia Letlow (LA-05), Tracey Mann (KS-01), Tom McClintock (CA-04), Mariannette Miller-Meeks (IA-02), Barry Moore (AL-02), Ralph Norman (SC-05), Burgess Owens (UT-04), Guy Reschenthaler (PA-14), John Rutherford (FL-04), Elise Stefanik (NY-21), Greg Steube (FL-17), Claudia Tenney (NY-22), and Randy Weber (TX-14).
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