Freedom Of Speech On College Campuses

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After reviewing Supreme Court cases relevant to the issue of freedom of speech on public college campuses it is evident that some guidance has been given, here is what we know when looking at free speech on public college campuses. First, in Sweezy, there is a recognized right by the Court to Academic Freedom, especially scholarship and the need for the freedom to inquire, evaluate, and study (354 U.S. 234). Secondly, in Keyishian, the Court set the standard for Academic freedom as not allowing “…laws that cast a pall of orthodoxy over the classroom” (385 U.S. 603). Keyishian also recognized that restrictions put forth by the college that administer a potential Chilling Effect, are deemed unconstitutional. Lastly, in Healy, the Court recognized…show more content…
My personal interpretation of the UA policy comes from this way understanding free speech, that the vague wording and standards is intentional and with much consideration. When dealing with free speech, the university knows that the subject is unclear, thus to standardize speech, they implement the same unclear terminology and guidelines. There is no line because the Supreme Court has chosen not to, and to me the Court has not defined the line because what should be regulated is too complicated to put into a precise standard. Thus, the UA policy follows the Court, leaving the policy up for…show more content…
UA’s policy is vague because there is no correct answer and they want to be legally sound if their policy is ever challenged. The Supreme Court cases are vague because there will be times when the situation calls for an alteration of a previous opinion, such as Tinker in Kuhlmeier. The facts: what happened, what was spoken, what actions were taken… are the most important aspects of free speech, because there are only limited and uncertain guidelines to follow. Judging cases as they come along is the only future for free speech, this is because if there ever is a narrowly defined definition for each aspect of free speech two things may happen. First, there will be no end to the definition or second, the definition will be so limiting that within a few years, the definition will not be inclusive enough or incorporate the speech of an ever-developing world. With technology changing, who knows what speech will be like in the coming years. To have vague standards, with case-by-case facts and interpretations will ensure that free speech is duly handled, maybe not always in the way the public wants, but such is legality. If we take a step back, the questions being asked are often similar, but with their own individuality. Where academics draw the line for speech will vary, and will often be challenged. But, maybe the gray areas are what is needed. Interpretation on a
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