President Trump on Thursday signed an executive order aimed at protecting free speech on college campuses, in an event attended by students who say their conservative views have been infringed upon.
The new order will require higher education institutions to certify that they are enforcing free speech standards in order to receive grants through the Departments of Education, Health and Human Services (HHS) and Defense, among other agencies.
“Under the guise of speech codes, and safe spaces, and trigger warnings, these universities have tried to restrict free thought, impose total conformity and shut down the voices of great young Americans,” Trump said at a signing ceremony.
“All of that changes, starting right now,” he added. “We’re dealing with billions and billions and billions of dollars.”
President Trump announced his intention to sign the directive during a speech earlier this month at the Conservative Political Action Conference.
He made it official on Thursday, portraying the decision as part of a broader crusade to protect the rights of conservatives and others who have complained of restrictive atmospheres on college campuses.
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