Florida pushes measure to survey college students, faculty on beliefs

Florida’s GOP-controlled state Senate is considering a measure that would survey the beliefs of college students and faculty on campus in an effort to assess intellectual diversity on college campuses.

The bill would require the State Board of Education to create a nonpartisan committee to administer an annual survey asking about the beliefs of those on campus and if they feel comfortable sharing those beliefs in class. 

State Sen. Ray Rodrigues (R) introduced the bill in an effort to protect “intellectual freedom and viewpoint diversity,” the Miami Herald reported.

Along with the survey, the bill would allow students to record their professors’ lectures for personal educational use or for evidence in a civil or criminal case. The lecture may not be posted without the professor’s consent.

The bill also forbids schools from shielding students and faculty from “offensive speech.”

Democrats have raised several concerns with the legislation including how the results will be used and what type of groups will be allowed on campus if schools can’t forbid certain types of speech.

Republicans have largely dismissed the concerns saying the bill will help schools assess how comfortable students are on campus and will allow schools to improve their education. 

The bill will be up for a vote soon and is expected to pass along party lines.

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