In a uniquely contrarian statement, the JMU Debate Club announced they would not be supporting Liz Wheeler's upcoming visit to campus on the grounds that her visit wont benefit free speech. However, in the second paragraph they state, "No person should be prohibited from expressing their viewpoints in the public sphere." We could not agree more. Unfortunately, that's not the end of the statement.
JMU's own dedicated free speech website states, "The university values creating robust conversation and debate, listening to and learning from opposing views, and growing in our understanding as enlightened citizens."
The website further states, "JMU is deeply committed to upholding a welcoming and inclusive campus environment for all students, staff, and visitors to express a diversity of ideas, beliefs, and viewpoints, while reminding members of the JMU and surrounding communities that freedom of speech carries important individual responsibilities, as well."
Time will tell whether JMU actually lives up to these statements and ideals, or whether invited speakers are cancelled or given the heckler's veto.
A "debate" team unwilling to engage in a discussion of differing ideas isn't a debate team, it's an echo chamber. Sadly, it appears there are few individuals on campus who are outside the pervasive walls of the woke echo chamber in Harrisonburg.