Restricting students’ freedom of speech impedes the learning process


A couple weeks ago in the dining hall, I saw a few people of whom I really hoped would not approach me while I sat and enjoyed my lunch. I hoped they wouldn’t talk to me not because of their, sex, race, or ideas, but because I worried for my own.

Luckily for me, I was spared the inconvenience of having to listen to why I should show support presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. But, what I was really spared from was the possible backlash that could, and does occur at other schools nation wide for having different political ideas.

As I walked across the rugby field, hearing Bernie Sanders supporters chant away outside of Reamer, I thought to myself: what if instead of pro Bernie it were pro Trump supporters? I could only imagine the possible outcomes to my day dream, and all were negative.

I am not stating which candidate I support, but simply using Mr. Trump as an example. I could not help but wonder how Sanders supporters could show their support with no downside or negative attitude against them while Trump supporters would likely be negatively viewed and met with anger. The answer lies within the hypocrisy of the closed-minded individuals who fail to accept any idea different from their own.

To put it simply, there are those out there that demonize any Trump supporter claiming they are a good-for-nothing bigot. Obviously, most people do not go to this extreme, but in today’s society, it seems that these extremists always seem to win. This is a scary trend, especially to those who walk on eggshells all day hoping nobody will get offended if they break one by accident.

An unfortunate hypocrisy and double standard has swept across the country, and even across the Atlantic and it is ruining the true essence of the higher education system. The minds of students and those who teach them are slowly closing inward to a single, twisted, bizarre world, where emotions trump the written law and constitution.

Someones emotions and feelings seem to be valued more then the laws that were created to protect us. This is especially true in schools everywhere, from colleges all the way down to elementary school. Alan Dershowitz, a renowned attorney, called this phenomena “free speech for me but not for thee.”

Furthermore, it is important to note that emotions are often times irrational. It is sad to see that many of those in charge of intellectual societies are siding with such irrational ideas, instead of rational facts.

Examples of such can be found everywhere. The word “Trump” written in chalk causes PTSD or Post Trump Stress Disorder amongst many students at Emory. Statues of historical founders of schools are being demanded to be ripped down due to the different ideals of those hundreds of years ago.

And, apparently drinking tequila and wearing sombreros at Bowdoin College is a punishable offense.

Keep in mind, a year beforehand the school held an event with a Photo Booth having sombreros as props saying “come take pictures in some funny hats.” Such incidences are only created by those whose feelings are taken more seriously than law and common sense.

The defense of administrators in situations is all to often that they are trying to create a space that is safe to everybody and all inclusive. But really they are just creating a superficial diverse environment. Sure it may be diverse in race, sex, and religion, but behind it all is a total lack of diversity in ideas.

Alan Dershowitz goes on to say “classrooms should not become intellectually sterile environments where ideas are subjected to censorship based on the fact that they make some students feel uncomfortable.”

College is about learning, pushing the envelope, opening your mind to challenging and conflicting ideas. Beliefs and preconceptions must be challenged, this is crucial to the learning process.


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