What is college for? For many, it's a time for personal and intellectual growth, to meet new people, and to explore ideas and philosophies that challenge their beliefs. Or is it? Recent cancellations of conservative speakers, rescinded honorary degrees, and scrutiny of certain campus groups have heightened perceptions that there is pervasive liberal intolerance on campuses. Are liberals shutting down speech and debate on campus? Or is this theory a myth, based on the preponderance of liberals at universities rather than intentionally discriminatory actions?
Angus Johnston is a historian of American student activism, and of student life and culture more broadly. An advocate of student organizing, he is the founder of the website StudentActivism.net. He teaches history at the City University of New York, where he received his PhD in 2009 with the dissertation “The United States National Student Association: Democracy, Activism, and the Idea of the Student, 1947-1978.” Johnston is particularly interested in student activism beyond the 1960s, in the history of student government, and in the role of students in the university. He regularly participates in scholarly and popular discussions on these topics, and his writing has appeared in several journals and anthologies. He has delivered lectures and workshops on the history of American student activism to undergraduate audiences at colleges across the country. Johnston received his BA in history from Binghamton University.
Greg Lukianoff is an attorney and the president and CEO of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE). He is the author of Unlearning Liberty: Campus Censorship and the End of American Debate and Freedom From Speech, as well as a co-author of The Atlantic’s September 2015 cover story, “The Coddling of the American Mind,” written in partnership with Jonathan Haidt.
Jeremy Mayer is an associate professor in the School of Policy, Government, and International Affairs at George Mason University. Most recently, he is the co-author of Closed Minds? Politics and Ideology in American Universities (2008) and co-editor of Media Power, Media Politics, 2nd Ed. (2008). He has written articles on diverse topics such as presidential image management, Christian right politics, federalism and gay rights, and comparative political socialization in several journals, and has offered political commentary to major networks and national newspapers. Previously, Mayer taught at Georgetown University and Kalamazoo College, where he won a campus-wide teaching award. He is a recipient of the Rowman & Littlefield Award in Innovative Teaching for the American Political Science Association, the only national teaching award in political science. He also has studied politics at Oxford, Michigan, and Brown.
Kirsten Powers is a columnist for USA Today and Daily Beast, where she writes about politics, human rights, and faith, and the author of the forthcoming release, The Silencing: How the Left Is Killing Free Speech. She joined FOX News Channel in 2004 and currently serves as a rotating panelist on Outnumbered and as a network contributor, providing political analysis and commentary across FOX News’s daytime and primetime programming, including Special Report with Bret Baier and FOX News Sunday. She previously served as a columnist for The New York Post, a communications consultant at Human Rights First and for the New York State Democratic Committee and vice president for international communications at America Online, Inc. From 1993 to 1998, Powers worked as deputy assistant U.S. trade representative for public affairs in the Clinton administration. She began her career as a staff assistant at the Office of President Bill Clinton, on the Clinton/Gore Presidential Transition Team.