The Importance of Freedom of Speech in College

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Freedom of speech is more than just the right to say what one pleases. Freedom of speech is the right to voice your opinion on certain topics or dilemmas around you. This basic right given to us in the First Amendment is being challenged by colleges who encourage “freedom of speech” with certain restrictions.
In the two videos provided by FIRE, certain situations where students’ basic rights were violated were shown. In the first video presented by FIRE, I was very surprised to learn that some colleges opt to control what you wear, what you post on Facebook or what you say. Instead of educating young adults, it appears that colleges nowadays are trying to babysit them in every dimension of life, including their personal online social life. One example that prominently stood out to me was Hayden Barnes’ story, in video two. Hayden Barnes found himself in deep trouble with the school when he decided to speak out against an overpriced project that the school had decided to complete, by using student fees. This situation shows exactly why organizations like FIRE are needed. Students in certain schools have little to no verbal opinion on what happens at their school. There are certain things you’re allowed to say, and certain things that you are not allowed to say. Whatever happened to freedom of speech and does it exist on college campuses?

When freedom of speech is confined in higher institutions, it diminishes the budding adult’s importance of this crucial right. Freedom of speech was formulated by our founding fathers to insure that all citizens had a right to speak out against whatever injustices done to them without fear of punishment. However, the institutions that are responsible for the advancement of America’s f...

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...that is accepted and listened to. Whether one’s audience is fellow classmates, the school body, or even the board of administrators themselves, every student in a higher institution deserves to be listened to without fear of punishment. Freedom of speech is the main foundational right that kept this country from falling into controlled government because it’s the right to have an opinion, even if it contradicts the “important” people. It is a basic right every citizen should have throughout their life as an American citizen, and more importantly, as a college student preparing for adulthood in a world where their opinions are crucial to society.


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