A new Florida Republican backed law will require each of the state's public universities to survey the political beliefs of students, faculty, and staff.
Proponents characterized the bill as an efficient way to promote "intellectual diversity" and push back against the liberal "indoctrination" of students.
The law, which was signed by Republican Governor Ron DeSantis, will take effect beginning July 1, just in time for the upcoming school year.
The Tampa Bay Times reported it remains unclear exactly what the state will do with the results of each university and college's survey, GOP Senator Ray Rodrigues, the bill's sponsor, did admit budget cuts could be in order if school's appear to be "indoctrinating."
Gov. DeSantis proudly touted the bill's efficacy.
"It used to be thought that a university campus was a place where you'd be exposed to a lot of different ideas."
"Unfortunately, now the norm is, these are more intellectually repressive environments. You have orthodoxies that are promoted, and other viewpoints are shunned or even suppressed."When DeSantis was pressed to give an example to support his claim, he did not.
Instead, he was broad and vague, saying he "knows a lot of parents" who worry their children will be "indoctrinated" into accepting "orthodoxies."
Faculty members, on the other hand, have argued the law attacks their freedom of speech.
The bill's lack of clarity on multiple issues likely contributed to that anxiety. There is no confirmation that survey results will remain anonymous and there's no mention of who can use the data or how the data will be used.
But hints were given in GOP statements about the new law.
The bill does make clear, however, students will be permitted to record their professors and lectures without consent. Those recordings could then be used in a civil or criminal case against the school.
Many people, particularly Florida residents, were outraged to hear the bill became law.
Many cited the GOP legislation as another Republican solution searching for a problem that doesn't exist.
For all DeSantis' harsh criticism of lack of diversity of thought and indoctrination, it's worth noting just two weeks ago Florida's State Board of Education banned the teaching of critical race theory.
DeSantis requested that measure.