The Old Well on the campus of The University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, NC. (Gerry Broome / AP Photo)

UNC Chapel Hill is Emerging as a National Free Speech Leader

March 17, 2023


Three cheers for UNC Chapel Hill.  

The public institution—paid for in large part by taxpayer dollars—has become a national leader of the anti-woke backlash in higher education. This development is as surprising as it is welcome, since many public colleges and universities are doubling down on political indoctrination and ideological discrimination.  

UNC Chapel Hill provides a roadmap—and better yet, some cover—for any institution that wants to restore true education and intellectual inquiry to their rightful place on campus. 

I say this having just visited UNC Chapel Hill. I traveled there with Douglas Murray, the British author and journalist, to help launch an alumni group focused on defending free speech and defeating woke “cancel culture.”  

Our organization, Common Sense Society, was originally founded in Central Europe when I was there leading student debates. It was very easy for former communists to advocate “cancel culture” due to their familiarity with conformity of thought and action. 

It is very troubling to see the same fear of debate rear its ugly head here on college campuses in America.

Marion Smith is president and C.E.O. of Common Sense Society.

Originally published in North State Journal.

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