We’ve come to this. Students meeting in secret to debate ideas without speech codes.

The Extract reports.

Leftist speech codes force Brown University debate club to meet in the shadows

The founder of an “underground” debate group formed in response to the anti-free-speech activism taking place on college campuses across the U.S. recently explained why participants are meeting in forced seclusion. Brown University student Christopher Robotham described the cultural climate at the school as intolerant toward those with any ideas deemed politically incorrect.

Using a phrase associated with gays taking the often difficult step of publicly acknowledging their sexual orientation, Robotham said there is a stigma associated with students who decline the leftist groupthink that dominates college life.

“There is a huge fear for people who have not, sort of, come out of the closet as not total subscribers to the ideologies of the radical left,” he said, “—a fear of social reprisal.”

Though he is clear that he does not want the club to become “a conservative advocacy group,” Robotham is dedicated to allowing even unpopular views to be represented and debated. Though he holds out no hope that college administrators will offer any support for his extracurricular venture, the fledgling group of five core participants has since ballooned to 137 members.

Open discussions on controversial issues, he lamented, would never be allowed to take place in a sponsored college forum – specifically because students and faculty have fostered an environment of unabashed hostility toward independent thought.

“If you challenged them,” he concluded, “there’s the understanding you would be told you are a racist, a violent oppressor, or something like that, and that conversation or debate was a distraction from settled questions.”