A Chilling New Florida Law Will Survey University Students and Faculty About Their Political Belief

A Chilling New Florida Law Will Survey University Students and Faculty About Their Political Beliefs

Sofia Andrade


Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday signed a piece of legislation that could wreak havoc on the freedom of speech and academic freedom of Florida’s institutes of higher education. The law would require all public colleges and universities to survey students, professors, and staff on their political beliefs in what DeSantis said is an attempt to promote “intellectual diversity.”

At stake for these schools—which DeSantis insists are fueling “indoctrination”—is a potential loss of funding, which the governor has threatened but is not explicitly outlined in the legislation. Going into effect on July 1, the new law also demands that university students “be shown diverse ideas and opinions, including those that they may disagree with or find uncomfortable,” according to the Florida Department of Education.

The law follows a string of moves by Florida Republicans to dictate what schools can or cannot teach their students. Last week, DeSantis banned Florida schools from teaching students about racism through critical race theory or “The 1619 Project”—neither of which any Florida school district was actually teaching prior to the ban. And on the same day that DeSantis signed the “intellectual diversity” law, he also signed another law requiring schools teach their students that communism is “evil.”

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"DeSantis signs bill requiring Florida students, professors to register political views with state" by Brett Bachman (Salon)

​"Political ‘Litmus Tests’ in Florida," "Faculty Ideological Diversity Bill Passes in Florida," and "Open Season on the Faculty" by Colleen Flaherty (Inside Higher Ed)

​"Bill Would Require Political Bias Surveys In Florida Universities, Allow Students To Record Professors' Lectures" by Tristan Wood (WUSF)