Students pressure Brown to invite more conservative speakers

Toni Airaksinen:

Unlike some other efforts to promote viewpoint diversity, SPEAK does not plan to directly invite conservatives or libertarians to lecture on campus. Instead, the coalition—which now includes roughly 20 students—aims to pressure the administration into doing the heavy lifting for them.

“Early on we decided that rather than try to invite a couple speakers ourselves, we would press the University to change the ideological makeup of the couple hundred speakers that they invite every semester,” Brigham told Campus Reform (emphasis his).

To do this, SPEAK researched the political affiliations of all 237 speakers the Brown University administration brought to campus in 2017, of which 95.4 percent were identified as having a “left-lean,” according to SPEAK’s inaugural March 21 report.

More specifically, of the 198 speakers who came to speak on American political topics in particular—times during which a speakers’ political affiliation might be more salient to students—93.4 percent leaned to the left.