Freedom of Speech on Campus: Is Everyone’s Opinion Valid?

Freedom of Speech on Campus: Is Everyone’s Opinion Valid?
  • Opening Intro -

    Verbal abuse based on race, religion and sexual orientation is on the rise.

    Colleges and universities have consequently introduced speech codes and free speech zones. But is that the right solution? Or has it chipped away the academic core of opinion?

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Freedom of speech is one of the rights and freedoms provided for us by the Constitution, in the Bill of Rights. It was especially stated in the First Amendment to the United States Constitution that such rights shall not be limited.

This express prohibition of the limitation of such rights stretches to government facilities such as colleges and universities by the Fourteenth Amendment (https://www.thefire.org/campus-rights/).

Simply put, we are all entitled to our opinions. I have the right to share my opinion on anything with anyone.

Freedom of Speech on Campus

Recently in the United States, freedom of speech in college and universities has come under threat. Over the years, we have faced racial profiling and discrimination that came with verbal abuse.

As society grows and changes, more gay and lesbian students are coming ‘out of the closet’. This being a new concept, not everyone takes it very well.

Verbal abuse based on race, religion and sexual orientation is on the rise. Colleges and universities have consequently introduced speech codes and free speech zones. Speech codes are certain words not allowed to be spoken in public as they are deemed offensive. Students that are heard saying these words are punished for it. Free speech zones are designated areas where students are allowed to speak freely.

In these zones, those codes don’t apply as one is assumed to be in that particular area knowingly and voluntarily.

These rules have been seen to actually make the situation worse! The fact that a student is not allowed to speak their mind freely, only aggravates them more. This means that stigmatization is constantly rising.

These are just short term solutions. In my opinion, freedom of speech on campus should be encouraged at all times, in all areas. This will allow students to tackle the underlying issues. Keeping them hidden and prohibited only makes tensions grow and eventually blow up.

Rights vs Responsibilities

Like I said, I have the right to share my opinions with my family, friends and anyone in public. You do too!

However, we often forget that as we enjoy our rights, we have to respect other people’s rights. In the same way I expect you to respect my opinion, it is my responsibility to respect yours even though we may not see eye to eye.

The problem associated with freedom of speech in college and in society as a whole arises where people refuse to respect each others opinions. Instead of holding harmless, open debates in a bid to understand one other, we start fighting verbally.

To live in peace, we need to understand each other. RESPECT is all we need. Your opinion is valid; my opinion is valid too!

Please share this on Facebook and other social networks to spread the message. Peace and respect for us all.

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Categories: Commentary