Despite being weakened, the Stop woke Act has had an effect on campuses. Twenty-eight presidents of public colleges signed a letter on January 18th promising to defend “Florida values”. “Our institutions will not fund or support any institutional practice, policy, or academic requirement that compels belief in critical-race theory or related concepts such as intersectionality, or the idea that systems of oppression should be the primary lens through which teaching and learning are analysed and/or improved upon,” the letter says.
Usually when people want to prevent an idea they dislike, they limit who can speak on campus, says Adam Steinbaugh, a lawyer at fire. (Liberals have been accused of using this practice against their conservative enemies recently.) But the Stop Woke Act is different. “Florida is skipping the pretext,” Mr Steinbaugh says. “They’re skipping the middleman and just limiting ideas themselves.”
The law has created a culture of fear on campus, says a faculty member at the University of Florida, who wishes to remain anonymous. His university inbox is filled with emails about the act. Academics worry about accidentally breaking the law and being reported, he says. The University of South Florida, a different public university in Florida, has a website for students to report discrimination which specifically asks for “violations of House Bill 7.” The consequences could be steep for public universities, which stand to lose millions of dollars in state funding.