By Kassandra Garcia | Staff Writer|
The First Amendment remains in full force, but college institutions continue to limit our freedom of speech through permits, designated speech zones and “inclusive language” campaigns.
In my opinion, college campuses should promote freedom of speech with no restrictions.
According to Press-Telegram, a Cal Poly Pomona student is suing his school for this exact reason.
Nicolas Tomas, an animal-rights activist, felt his First Amendment rights were being violated when he was confined to a designated speech zone while trying to inform fellow students on important issues pertaining to health.
He was told by campus officials that “there is a time and place for everything,” according to Press-Telegram.
I understand this idea of thinking can be viewed as progressive, which is what the University of Michigan tried with their inclusive language campaigns, but this type of selective speech limits us which is in clear violation of our freedom of speech.
College is a scholarly institution where we are exposed to different ideas, a place where we can freely express our point of views.
These Amendment restrictions are used to censor what we have to say.
In 2014, Robert Van Tuinen, a Modesto Junior College student, was denied the exact same rights as Tomas.
As a result, Tuinen started the nonprofit organization, Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), which advocates free speech on campus.
I do believe that these cases have helped create a wider range of freedom of speech on college campuses, but there are still restrictions.
Individuals and groups are still required to obtain a permit through the student development process which is still in violation of our First Amendment rights.
Although the CSU student handbook emphasizes that it is easier to express freedom of speech across campuses, there is still a “designated” free speech zone that is assigned.
“It’s not free speech if you’re asking permission to do it,” said sophomore, Julie Herman.
These restrictions cause students to not want to freely express themselves.
“There’s always that fear of what [the] government might do,” said student Sabrina Henry.
According to FIRE, out of 427 colleges and universities around the country, 59 percent of the people from these institutions believed that their First Amendment rights were being violated.
Situations like those mentioned are unconstitutional because freedom of speech is being shut down and replaced with censorship.
The handbook of free speech states that our free speech rights are protected but under all the “reassurance” there is misconception. It also states that the “California free speech clause is more definitive and inclusive than the First Amendment.”
“I like the use of ‘definitive’ and ‘inclusive’. Isn’t something that is definitive, precise? Whereas something that is ‘inclusive’ is actually quite broad. It’s like saying ‘let’s act like we’re giving them freedom of speech but only not really,” said student Dustin Gutierrez.
I would like to walk outside the university buildings having people yell about their ideas and points of views.
I would enjoy it because it opens us up to things we normally are not interested in hearing about.
To be fair, it is important to not abuse this freedom of speech with slander or hate speech.
If my freedom of speech is said to be protected, I should not be afraid of getting in trouble. Am I? Most likely, because freedom of speech is not protected in college institutions.