“Free Inquiry? Not on Campus” by John Leo is an important essay that shows exactly how important it is to protect people's political views and opinions. In Leo's essay, he elaborates how times have changed and how we live in more of a liberal left-wing society and because of this everyone has to be more politically correct. Leo talks about the social change universities and colleges on how they used to promote free speech, but now are more like the speech police telling us what's opinions you should have on any given subject and any other opinion is considered wrong. Leo gives an example of this and writes “in October 2007, for instance, a student mob stormed a Columbia University stage, shutting down speeches by two members of the Minutemen, an anti-illegal immigration group.The students shouted they have no right to
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
With a wide variety of people on colleges campuses, it is almost impossible to please everybody; whether it comes to class times, bus schedules, or grading rules, somebody is upset. As well as these smaller issues, more controversial arguments come into play. One of these arguments is against free speech zones on college campuses. These zones restrict speech to a specific area on campus, however, still allowing any type of group to express their beliefs to anybody passing. Some claim these zones as unconstitutional because it restricts a student’s right to free speech. However, others view the zones as helpful in controlling protests and current tensions on campus. Open speech across campus is incredibly difficult to monitor because of the enormous size of current day campuses and the immense amount of different views. In the past, there have been situations relating to violent protesting and negative speech across campuses. Because of this, campuses have begun enforcing free speech zones in which students and faculty may verbally express their beliefs.
“Over the years, courts have ruled that college officials may set up reasonable rules to regulate the ‘time, place and manner” that the free speech can occur, as long as the rules are “content neutral,’ meaning they apply equally to all sides of issues” (Fisher, 2008). Speech codes and free speech zones on campus do exist for many reasons: many of the causes or topics that students or others looking to interact with students take up are controversial and can frequently take on less of an academic or social justice overtone and more of a hateful one. Hate speech is the greatest threat to freedom of speech on college campuses, and the limitations colleges and universities put on student’s verbal freedoms are largely in place as efforts to avoid it. Religion, in particular, is a hot topic on campuses and it has an unfortunate tendency to become more aggressive and argumentative than universities would like. However, under the First Amendment, individuals do have a right to speech that the listener disagrees with and to speech that is offensive and hateful. It’s always easier to defend someone’s right to say something with which you agree. But in a free society, you also have a duty to defend speech to which you may strongly object.
Authors of both articles disagree the suppressing and censoring of free speech observed in some universities. While Rampell is disheartened by violent reactions of students upon reading a conservative essay written by a ‘moderate conservative’ in a student newspaper, Stone and Creeley are worried, in general, about the broader measures of censoring free speech across universities. Rampell, in particular, had direct access to the writer of the conservative essay, which gave her a deeper understanding of the actual reactions and subsequent happenings. Stone and Creeley had off hand access to the past happenings of three individual cases of censoring free speech expressions by teaching faculties. In one case, a university dissented to a faculty member’s published essay on
As American universities and colleges grow their demographics, diversity and ideas there is a continued and an accelerated debate regarding freedom of speech within these higher education institutions. College campuses are struggling to simultaneously provide a learning environment that is inclusive to traditionally unrepresented students while also providing an environment that allows for ideas to be challenged and debated no matter how offensive or controversial.
On January 13th, 2017, Chancellor Ralph Hexter of UC Davis emailed students in response to Martin Shkreli and Milo Yiannopoulos not being allowed speak at a campus event due to heated protests. The controversial Yiannopoulos is a open critic of many social justice movements, like feminism and Black Lives Matter. He’s specifically said during his events at his tour that muslims are rapists, publically yelled at a muslim for wearing a hijab, and promotes Blue Lives Matter. ('I Just Want to Burn It down') Additionally, Shkreli is a businessman who is now a convicted felon. So in response, many students were outraged and deeply upset by this organized event. In the email the Chancellor quoted the ACLU, explaining that we “can organize effectively to counter bad attitudes, possibly change them, and forge solidarity against the forces of intolerance.” However this will cause violence and make many feel patronized by the words spurred out by public speakers, like Yiannopoulos and Shrekli. Even though inviting people of different views seems like unifying people from all backgrounds, when people are content with their hatred and speak them out openly, it causes more complication. The opposite side wants to cover their ears and find the nearest exit. To be realistic, any young student won’t be welcoming with open arms to close minded speakers, especially if it seems as the main thing they desire is to get a rise out of you. The most efficient way to unify people is being respectful
In her article “Progressive Ideas Have Killed Free Speech on Campus” Wendy Kaminer, an American lawyer and writer, was branded a racist while having a friendly debate during a panel for Smith College. Kaminer made a reasonable case by providing many examples from a different variety of colleges who have experienced a free speech debate. She also stated: “How did a verbal defense of free speech become tantamount to a hate crime and offensive words become the equivalent of physical assaults?” I couldn’t agree with Kaminer more. People need to toughen up and not take things so literally. Offensive words are not equivalent to physical assaults.
“I have opinions that, frankly, a lot of people are thinking. They just won't tell people. They don't pollsters. They don't tell journalists. But they think it” (Lieberman). These are the words of conservative blogger and self-proclaimed “provocateur,” Milo Yiannopoulos. Yiannopoulos had been scheduled to speak at the UC Berkeley campus, but given UC Berkeley Police Department’s security concerns surrounding his appearance, the event had been cancelled. Yiannopoulos argues that his First Amendment right had been violated and vows to return for a future event, “Free Speech Week.” Additionally, Ku Klux Klan activist Chris Cantwell has been invited to speak. The University argues that due to Yiannopoulos’ past doxing activities and the threat of violence associated with his presence, it is not required to accommodate such speech. In this memo, I will provide legal precedents arguing that 1) “Free Speech Week” should be permitted to proceed with or without Chris Cantwell, 2) the associated KKK rallies should be permitted to proceed, and 3) a counter-argument addressing the strengthening of civil disobedience.
As American people, we know that we are entitled to certain rights according to the constitution; one of which is freedom of speech. In Civility and Its Discontents, Leslie Epstein explores the limits and contradictions of this much cherished right when considering whether he would expel a student who wrote racial slurs in the dorm rooms of a University if it was up to him. He discusses this situation and topics that stem from it in an analytical yet somewhat emotionally involved tone and makes the reader reflect on the wide range of information presented about the issues of political correctness, freedom of speech, expulsion, and racism.
Derek Bok argues that American dedication to democracy is embodied in the Frist Amendment and that the freedoms granted in this Amendment are the building blocks of dialogues that contribute to cohesive communities born out of differences. The problem, however, according to Bok, is the difficulty of balancing the protection of these freedoms on campuses and universities where reasoned expression of diverse ideas is encouraged. Bok offers the suggestion that rather than attempt to stifle expression by imposing penalties for what might be considered offensive speech, “speak with those who perform insensitive acts and try to help them understand the effects of their action on others” (69). While this suggestion might imply a reasoned and
Brian and Gloria are students at Roger Williams University who share different views on a touchy subject. Brian, a freshman, reached out to Gloria, a senior and chair of CEN, wishing to invite Milo Yiannopoulos to speak at our campus. After doing research on Yiannopoulos, Gloria believes he is “racist and sexist” and goes against everything Roger Williams University stands for. Gloria feels Yiannopoulos would offend many students on campus, possibly leading to violence. She thinks Roger Williams would not allow Yiannopoulos to speak at our campus, so we shouldn’t allow him to either. However, Brian believes Roger Williams University is an “inclusive” campus and we welcome and value all expressions of diversity and identity. Brian says Roger Williams was probably the first American to “challenge societal norms”, and we should follow in his footsteps. Brian feels Gloria is being narrow-minded and he is being denied his right to free speech and peaceful assembly.
Harvey A. Silvergate stated in his article, “Muzziling Free Speech”, that “Our entire Country is a free speech zone, and that our campuses of higher education, of all places, cannot be an exception.” Free speech, in the form of hate speech, should be not regulated on American college campuses. Should hate speech be discouraged? Of course! However, developing policies that limit hate speech runs the risk of limiting an individual’s ability to exercise free speech. The University of California System’s response to banning hate speech, speech codes in universities, law cases Doe v. University of Michigan and Sigma Chi Fraternity v George Mason University, and the view points of law professor Greg Margarian, proves why we should protect hate speech, even though it may seem wrong.
In the past couple of decades till now, there have been countless numbers of hate speech cases on college campuses across the country. Due to hate speech taking on many forms such as written, spoken, and symbolic, the number of incidents have skyrocketed. While many colleges have attempted to regulate hate speech on campus, other colleges have found that they have limited too much speech and that their regulations are starting to go against the first amendment. Three incidents of hate speech on college campuses in the years 1993-1995 occurred in the college campuses of Penn, UCR, and Caltech respectively.
For centuries Universities have been a place to freely voice your opinion and debate with others. These institutions have been relatively safe harbors for debating social issues and exercising the individual's civil rights. However, current students seem to be the exact opposite, and the constitutional principle of free speech seems under siege. “Colleges and universities in the United States have retreated from strong historical support for free speech, including the dis-invitation of speakers, promulgation of speech codes that prohibit what is deemed "offensive speech," and students protesting the participation of politically unpopular speakers on campus” (Eliott)