Analysis Of Protecting Freedom Of Expression On The Campus

1066 WordsSep 11, 20175 Pages
Davis Composition 9 September 2017 An Analysis of “Protecting Freedom of Expression on the Campus” Former president of Harvard University, Derek Bok, in his essay, “Protecting Freedom of Expression on the Campus” published in the Boston Globe, addresses the topic of protection and regulation of freedom of expression on college campuses and argues that rather than prohibiting the expression of offensive speech, it would be better to ignore it. He fails to support his claim by dismissing the emotional discomfort that people might find themselves in, in response to someone’s offensive expressions, and by not being a credible source of information on the topic, but he successfully appeals to the reader by offering logical reasons as to why…show more content…
The fact that Bok completely disregards the feelings of anyone who was personally offended is a clear reason to why he failed at completely convincing his audience of his claim. Moreover, Bok cannot be considered as a credible source simply because of his familiarity with Harvard University. Although he was educated and served as president of Harvard, one cannot deem him an expert on the topic of freedom of expression. Bok does not make a single reference to any work he has completed that would make him any more qualified, to speak about this topic, than any other person. On the other hand, Bok successfully incorporates both sides of the argument and attempted to explain why his way of going about the issue was the most beneficial overall. For example, he describes the incident as “a clear example of the conflict between our commitment to free speech and our desire to foster a community based on mutual respect.” With this, he refers to people’s desire to say what they please while keeping it appropriate for anyone to hear. The reader is convinced by his reference to both sides of the argument. Further, he goes into detail regarding why people should and should not regulate or restrict their First Amendment rights. In turn, the reader is slightly convinced of the author’s argument because he accurately conveyed the positions of whom he disagrees with. Additionally, Bok supports his claim by offering logical reasons as to why censorship is
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