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Wisconsin Watch partners with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. Read our methodology to learn how we check claims.


According to a University of Wisconsin System survey of student views on freedom of speech, a majority of respondents agreed to varying degrees that students should report instructors who say something they feel causes harm to certain groups. 

In response to how much they believed students should report instructors in that scenario, 25.4% said “somewhat,” 25.7% said “quite a bit” and 16.9% said “a great deal” for a total of 68%. 

Responses to the question were spilt along self-identified political affiliation. Of students who identified as Democrats, 61.2% said “quite a bit” or “a great deal” in response to how much they thought instructors should be reported, in contrast to about 21.7% of students who identified as Republicans. 

The survey polled over 10,000 undergraduate students across UW System schools about free speech on campus, finding students’ opinions varied greatly across different political affiliations, genders and races. 

This Fact Brief is responsive to conversations such as this one.


University of Wisconsin System: UW System Student Views on Freedom of Speech

Wisconsin Public Radio: Survey: Conservative UW System students say they’ve felt political pressure in class

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Erin Gretzinger joined Wisconsin Watch as a reporting intern in May 2022. She is a journalism and French major at UW-Madison and will graduate in spring 2023. Erin previously worked for the Wisconsin State Journal as a reporting intern and served as the 2021-22 editor-in-chief at The Badger Herald. She is a recipient of the Jon Wolman Scholarship, the Sigrid Schultz Scholarship and the Joseph Sicherman Award Fund for her academic and reporting work.