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Reminder: Campus Free Speech Means Also Hearing Ideas You Don’t Like

Reminder: Campus Free Speech Means Also Hearing Ideas You Don’t Like

“supposed to be a bastion of free expression and thought”

This is such a basic aspect of free speech yet it’s forgotten so often.

Sergio Hruszko writes at the Washington Examiner:

Free Speech Week isn’t just for you and me, it’s also for people and ideas we don’t like

As the country celebrates Free Speech Week, I’m left wondering: Will students on college campuses will be able to exercise their First Amendment rights to the fullest extent? The basic idea of free speech is not only freedom to express yourself, but the freedom to challenge others. Without this fundamental right, America might look very different than it does today.

Unfortunately, interpretation of the Constitution and Bill of Rights has changed over the years. We are not seeing widespread support for the First Amendment, and that runs counter to our very foundation.

On college campuses, students are being restricted to small areas on campus called “ free speech zones” where even passing out pocket-sized Constitutions can be deemed inappropriate. Organizations such as the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education have made it their mission to combat these types of oppressive policies.

These areas seem to be an end-around attempt by schools to avoid accusations of campus censorship. The mere existence of such zones, however, calls into question the university’s reputation as a “ marketplace of ideas” when the marketplace is often a small area in a part of campus nobody inhabits.

University campuses are held in high regard not because of their rankings or admissions rate, but because they are supposed to be a bastion of free expression and thought — a place where we can debate our ideas in good faith and have in-depth discussions.


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What would Mario Savio say about this?