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Colleges with rich students most likely to disinvite speakers they don’t like: study

Richard Reeves, senior fellow at the Center on Children and Families, as well as research assistant Dimitrios Halikias, have crunched some numbers with very interesting results: colleges with the richest students are where most speaker disinvitation efforts take place.

… using data gathered by the non-partisan Foundation for Individual Rights in Education [we’ve] found that the schools where students have attempted disinvite speakers are substantially wealthier and more expensive than average. Since 2014, there have been attempts at some 90 colleges to disinvite speakers, mostly conservatives. The average enrollee at a college where students have attempted to restrict free speech comes from a family with an annual income $32,000 higher than that of the average student in America.

In the figure below, we plot every university in America based on the proportion of students from families with incomes in the top quintile (vertical axis) and from the bottom quintile (horizontal). Marked in red are the “disinvitation colleges” described above. The pattern is clear: the more economically exclusive the institution, the more likely the students have attempted to hinder free speech:

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