Let the Students Speak: The Importance of Free Speech on College Campuses

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Ah, the freedom of speech. Outlined in our nation’s Constitution and considered one of the most fundamental of all human rights, it gives us the ability to express ourselves without government interference, restraint, or suppression (“Freedom of Speech: An Overview”). Free speech is practiced by all types of American citizens, from the teenage girl posting a picture of a Starbucks cup on Instagram to the riled adult handing out fliers for a political cause. Every form of expression, ranging from the frivolous to the meaningful and the agreeable to the controversial, is protected by this significant and irreplaceable liberty. With this in mind, freedom of speech should surely be guaranteed in all corners of our nation. Unfortunately, that…show more content…
The academic process takes place due to the distribution, obtainment, and discussion of information. Imagine being punished for taking part in this scholastic process. That’s what happened to Keith John Sampson of Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. He was found guilty of racial harassment for reading a book about the Ku Klux Klan (“Silencing U: Five Outrageous Cases of Campus Censorship”). Reading, a harmless activity of self-education that should be considered a normal occurrence on a college campus, was found to be an act of harassment simply because the book’s subject matter consisted of a notorious hate group. This event completely opposes the purpose of higher education, which is to support students’ attainment of knowledge and improvement of literacy. If students are restricted from informing themselves on topics found controversial or offensive, then their freedom of thought becomes restricted as well. As a result, their scope of knowledge would be circumscribed to what the administrating body found appropriate and acceptable. This is not true intellectual growth. The learning process includes analyzing all types of material, the unpleasant and brutal included. Thanks to freedom of speech, we have the ability to question, scrutinize, and criticize our government and its public officials. There’s a myriad of media forms demonstrating this freedom, stretching from the deepest political bowels of the YouTube comments section to Politics

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