In addition to being strongly anti-Animal Rights, I'm a strong and unapologetic proponent of free speech, and those who are familiar with AC know that I've never advocated silencing my opponents.
I myself strongly believe that AR people have the right to their say, and I would defend that right as vigorously as I can: I understand that when I defend their right to express themselves, I also defend my own. (I've always been much less concerned with who delivers the message, their reputation or their motives than the message itself. After all, the message and the messenger are different entities, and for debate to occur and truth to be uncovered, it is the content of the message that counts, not who says it or what their motives might have been.)
Probably most readers assume that free speech is encouraged in our institutions of higher learning, that vigorous debate on the great political of the day would be encouraged.
That would be an unwarranted assumption: draconian speech codes exist and are enforced on a fair number of college campuses. Such codes proscribe certain political viewpoints and make it a punishable offense to advocate them because their content may be "offensive" to some protected group or is self-evidently "wrong."
As written, institutions justify their prohibitions by stressing the need to foster a "nurturing environment," to protect certain groups from having to hear "offensive comments" and, they claim, the necessity to create a community where even the most fragile of souls can feel "safe."
But the only way you can achieve such goals is to stifle dissent, which defeats the whole point of free speech because free speech requires that those most passionately committed on both sides of a topic have their say without fear of retribution institutional retribution. Indeed, when an institution proclaims itself to be in favor of free speech, but has speech codes, it is paying lip-service to a goal while denying the means to that goal.
If you're a parent trying to sort through which schools would be best for your kid, you should be aware of the watchdog organization FIRE (Foundation of Individual Rights in Education), which is committed to striking down speech codes and protecting campus free speech, and I strongly recommend that you visit their site.
Here's a couple of somethings to whet your interest: