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Year in review: 130 campus cancel culture incidents during 2023-24 school year

Campus cancelations averaged 2.5 per week over last 12 months

Campus cancel culture continued unabated over the last 12 months, with 130 incidents on colleges and universities that ran the gamut — attacking everything from guest speakers and building names to paintings and plays.

The incidents were tracked and recorded by The College Fix’s exclusive Campus Cancel Culture Database, which monitors and chronicles suppression efforts in higher education.

The database defines cancel culture as any effort by people or groups to identify someone or something as offensive or unacceptable and seek in some way to censor or punish the transgressor or item. It tracks both successful cancelations as well as attempted efforts, which can still have a chilling effect on freedom of thought.

Of the 130 campus cancel culture incidents from July 1 through today, 90 were successful and the rest, 40, were attempted cancelations.

“Anyone who even tries to say cancel culture is no longer an issue needs to look over our database,” said Jennifer Kabbany, editor of The College Fix. “This year was a busy year for campus crybullies.”

Launched in September 2021 with more than 1,400 entries, it currently sits at 1,823 entries. With 52 weeks in a year and 130 incidents in 2023-24, that’s an average of 2.5 incidents per week over the last 12 months.

“The database quantifies cancel culture on campus and really gives people a clear picture of the size, breadth and scope of the problem,” Kabbany said.

More than a dozen professors were the target of cancel campaigns this year.

For example, a UC Berkeley professor was publicly chastised by deans and forced to apologize for his advice to “get out of the Bay Area” to find a good girlfriend. In another, an economist was put through the ringer for saying kids need two parents.

Plenty of guest speakers also saw their events axed, including a renowned oncologist whose speech was canceled over his contrarian COVID views and a Princeton professor’s speech on “truth seeking” shut down by rowdy protesters.

Frenzied anti-Israel demonstrations this school year led to a wide variety of antisemitic cancel culture efforts, including students ripping down and trashing posters of Israelis kidnapped by Hamas. Several events were also shut down by pro-Palestinian pandemonium.

More building names were also scrapped this year, including “Myles Standish” at Boston University, “Seven Fires” at Springfield College and “Edwin Alderman” at the University of Virginia.

Other notable campus cancelations this year include:

Catholic university denies request to host women’s sports activist Paula Scanlan

West Point ditches ‘Duty, Honor, Country’ from mission statement

Harvard professor rescinds scheduled appearance on free thinking professor’s ‘Saad Truth’ podcast

UT Dallas removes free speech rock display

Campus chaplain’s email for Christmas service avoids word ‘Christmas’

Univ. removes dolphin from logo because it belonged to slave trader 300+ years ago

College play about gay interracial love affair canceled after outrage: ‘romanticizes slavery’

UNLV law school apologizes for using word ‘picnic,’ changes it to ‘Lunch by the Lake’

Washington & Lee University removes plaque honoring Robert E. Lee’s horse

Did we miss any examples? You can take part in helping us chronicle campus cancel culture.

Submit your example here. The database is crowdsourced, and will add examples from years prior as well as chronicle the phenomenon for years to come.

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