President Donald Trump signed an executive order Thursday to promote transparency and diverse dialogue at public universities.
The President’s order primarily focuses on financial transparency so that students are aware of their financial risks if they were to borrow money for their education as well as repayment plans upon graduation. However, the executive order also includes provisions calling for diverse and open debate on college campuses. Because students are taking on high amounts of debt, they should have the right to “free inquiry” which is crucial to innovation, academic success, and overall student life, the order says.
Driven by the First Amendment, the order requires that every institution that receives federal funding guarantee a campus of “free inquiry.” The President wants to ensure that students who are taking out absorbent amounts of federal loans and institutions who take federal funding are creating environments where all students can openly and freely express their constitutional rights.
The ramifications of the order are unclear, especially for a majority of institutions who already comply with this new policy to allow for open dialogue and debate.