Is there a reason, aside from the middle class bubble, why people are specifically obsessed with free speech on college campuses, of all places?

I think there’s a few different things going on simultaneously.

One is that colleges are essentially seen as the centers of intellectual life. If a particular ideology is seen as unjustly taking control of these centers, it’s obviously very concerning to other ideologies.

Then there’s the issue of the historical ideals of colleges generally including “free speech” and “intellectual freedom”.

And then there’s class frictions, and a lot of young idealistic people who have too much free time on their hands.

I agree with this otherwise, but I am not aware of any college students who have ever had too much free time on their hands.

I had tons of free time on my hands in college…

I care about free speech on campus the same reason religious people care about blasphemy inside a church.

A university is a sacred space. Literally, holy, set aside for a special purpose. To see such direct aggressive attacks on that sacred institution is the most monstrous blasphemy.