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  • Writer's pictureArizona Senate Republicans

Report from ASU's Free Speech Investigation Showcases Example of 'Fox Guarding the Henhouse'


Monday, September 18, 2023

Report from ASU's Free Speech Investigation Showcases Example of

'Fox Guarding the Henhouse'

PHOENIX, ARIZONA— Senator Anthony Kern is sharing his disappointment after providing Arizona State University administrators with an opportunity to investigate and answer to serious allegations brought to light regarding state resources being used to inhibit students' fundamental rights to freedom of speech and expression on campus.

A report released by the university last Friday admitted no wrongdoing by faculty of Barrett, The Honors College at Arizona State University and seemingly ignored serious concerns raised by students, including feeling coerced to not participate in an event where several nationally renowned conservative speakers were in attendance. Additionally, allegations were made of a faculty-driven condemnation campaign, both nationally and inside ASU classrooms, as well as faculty viciously and publicly attacking the prime sponsor of the event, the T.W. Lewis Center for Personal Development.

"We appear to have a case of the fox guarding the henhouse with ASU's attempts to write off the seriousness of these claims," said Senator Kern. "While it's unfortunate ASU's administrators chose to take this approach with their investigation, it's not unexpected. I wanted to give them the benefit of the doubt that they would in fact own up to some of the serious problems that stifled free speech for students on campus under their watch, however, their complicity calls for further action from state legislators. I look forward to hosting a follow up committee hearing in the coming weeks where lawmakers will review this report together, hear additional testimony, and discuss making policy changes to prevent similar situations from unfolding in the future. This issue is not unique to Arizona State University, as we're hearing instances of free speech infringement on campuses around the nation. It is our obligation as lawmakers to take action now."


For more information, contact:

Kim Quintero

Director of Communications | Arizona State Senate Republican Caucus

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