Free speech is a fundamental right enshrined in the Constitution of the United States of America. This right is particularly important on college campuses where free and open exchange of ideas is essential for the intellectual growth of students and the advancement of education and knowledge. However, in recent years, speech codes have been implemented on many college and university campuses in an attempt to regulate speech and create a more inclusive environment. While these policies may have been introduced with good intentions, they have unintended consequences, including self-censorship and cancel culture. Exploring the impact of free speech codes as policies on college campuses dives deeper into understanding how they can lead to things …show more content…
However, many students raise the question of what is considered “acceptable speech.” Speech codes are designed to promote inclusion, tolerance, and respect for diversity. These codes and policies typically prohibit hate speech and speech that incites violence or intimidation. However, what happens when one student has a different definition of what they believe hate speech is? Supporters of speech codes point to the fact that hate crimes and incidents on college campuses have been on the rise in recent years and argue that speech codes and policies are an important tool for combating these incidents. Many people believe that students cannot learn effectively in environments that are hostile or …show more content…
They argue that speech that is considered to be offensive can be harmful to certain groups of students who are marginalized or underrepresented. Liberal students contend that speech codes are extremely necessary to ensure that all students feel valued and respected on campus. Some liberal students also argue that speech codes do not threaten freedom of speech at all. They can point out that the First Amendment protects free speech but does not protect speech that is considered to be hateful. Many of these students believe that these codes are simply a way to enforce existing laws and do not restrict legitimate forms of expression or debate. Students believe that speech codes promote academic freedom and intellectual diversity. Cancel culture is a way for people to hold others accountable for their wrongdoings (Atske). Those in favor of speech codes argue that a campus culture that tolerates hate speech or discriminatory language can repress academic debate and limit the ability of students and faculty members to pursue research and express their viewpoints. They argue that speech codes can promote a more diverse and inclusive campus.
The divide between these two groups can partially be blamed on these speech codes. Conservative and liberal students will always have different views and biases. This idea is expressed in the well-known book, Fahrenheit
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In the story “Should This Student Have Been Expelled?” by Nat Hentoff was a very good argumentative passage. Hentoff argues that freedom of speech should be valued no matter how offensive it is interpreted by others. Dough Hann abused his freedom of speech when he blurted out “Fuck you niggers” to black students at Brown University. A student asked Hann to stop screaming and Hann yelled “What are you a faggot?” Next, Hann noticed an Israeli flag in the student’s dorm and asked “What are you a Jew?” and shouted, “Fucking Jew!”
Currently, the United State’s criterion on Speech includes, “obscenity, fraud, child pornography, harassment, incitement to illegal conduct and imminent lawless action, true threats, and commercial speech such as advertising, copyright or patent rights” (Gaudefroy 3). However, speech involving discriminatory words or racial intentions are protected by the law. To avoid instances that degrade the minority group, stricter rules need to be enforced on the delicate topic. Restrictions on hate speech should include usage of “misogynistic, homophobic, racist, and conspiracy-laden language” (Gaudefroy 3). Efforts to restrict these types of beliefs would create a more safe and equal society for all individuals.
In 1969, the supreme court ruled in the students’ favor, stating that a student’s right to free speech does not disappear when on a school campus. As long as it causes no disruptions at school, students keep their right to free speech. This affects schools in a couple of ways. A student is allowed to exercise their right to free speech on any topic they would like. A school only has the right to put a stop to a student’s free speech when there is evidence that it is affecting school procedures and student learning.
He aims to expound to the reader why hate speech shouldn't be included in the freedom of speech, at least on university premises, while reassuring the audience that he understands that the freedom of expression is highly essential and difficult to restrict in terms of hate speech. According to his statements, students who are subjected to racist instruction could even consider filing a lawsuit "on behalf of Blacks whose right to an equal education is denied by a university's failure to ensure a non-discriminatory educational climate" (Charles 18). To help the audience grasp the gravity of the issue, Charles chooses to explain how hate speech might escalate within legal
Today’s college students are becoming more sensitized to the harshness of the outside world. Instead of learning to be resilient to others’ comments, they are being taught to take offense to any little word that could in some way be connected with a bad experience they might have had, and college administrators and professors are aiding this childish behavior. They are backing this movement to make adults into children. With this new movement to rid college campuses of any speech that may make anyone feel uncomfortable, students are being treated less like adults, and more like elementary children.
I believe that Powers makes some very valid points on how expression is censored in the more modern “liberal” era. I think that it is within everybody’s right to believe in whatever they want and have the right to express it. More importantly, what I have really taken away from this class is: just because you may think something is “offensive’, “obscene,” or “wrong” does not mean the person next to you may see it that way as well. As we discussed in class, in particular cases, who really is capable of deciding what is truly right or wrong? Who is this “reasonable person” to decide for all what is politically correct or not?
Though there are some exceptions, the young generation at large today has been brainwashed by politically correct culture. That culture shuns complex thought, and makes any dissent from the PC mainstream punishable by shunning, yelling, and attempts to silence. It runs rampant on college campuses, and Hofstra is no exception. Trigger warnings are unfortunately a major aspect of this culture, and there is little remedy other than to save the minds of those we can still sway. As best summarized by the American Association of University Professors, “The presumption that students need to be protected rather than challenged in a classroom is at once infantilizing and anti-intellectual”
This group believes the First Amendment should no longer protect those who incite hate speech and instead, imprison or charge them with a hefty fine. Lastly, the third position for the hate speech debate are those who stand on the middle ground between the two conflicting sides. Individuals in this group realize the importance of free speech in the First Amendment but advocate for more restraints and limits to hate speech rather than the complete ban of hate speech. The primary stakeholders involved in this group include the majority of Moderates, and educators. Although the stakeholders of each of these positions remain firm in their specific ideologies about freedom of speech, all groups place value on an individual’s natural
I will argue for speech codes on college campuses because they create more good than harm to students on college campuses. The two reasons in support of speech codes on college campuses are that hate speech is prohibitive to a learning environment and secondly that hate speech does cause harm to the person or persons being attacked. The strongest objection against speech codes on college campuses is that speech codes are illegal because they infringe upon the rights of US citizens because of the US Constitutions first amendment. My first reason for speech codes on college campuses is that hate speech is prohibitive to a learning environment. My reasoning for believing so is because the primary purpose of colleges/universities and general education is to promote learning and knowledge while individuals can broaden their mental horizons and develop their own opinions.
Abuse of freedom of speech can be defined as hate speech or such speech that instigates and can create many negative impacts. Rosenbaum highlights research that shows “participants who were subjected to both physical and emotional pain, that emotional harm is equal in intensity to that experienced by the body and is even more long-lasting and traumatic” (1125). In the case of discriminatory language, if truly it is problematic, then some form of law limits and restricts it. While it is said that hate speech can cause negative effects on one’s mental and physical health, it was never isolated to be the sole cause of these impacts. Although hate speech may contribute, it is unreasonable to blame emotional harm on hate speech as the world arguably contains plenty of negative things that people are exposed to daily and can easily poison someone’s mind.
First and foremost, there is a consensus that whenever there seems to be the absence of reasons that are constitutionally valid to regulate the speech of students, then they are fully entitled to a freedom of expression provided they remain within reasonable constitutional bounds. More so, a choice by the administration to prohibit the students against expressing their opinion, in the absence of concrete evidence that permitting them would have had any substantial adverse effects on their discipline is a fundamental violation of the First
We now need to bring back the topic of free speech to discuss how our knowledge of our everyday aspects of our lives including healthcare and education and how it can be put at risk at the expense of censoring topics for our protection. How literal and absolute should our adherence to the First Amendment be? Although some speech is hateful and harmful, we should maintain an absolute interpretation of the First Amendment because it encourages productive debate, and censorship is a slippery slope. The first reason the First Amendment should maintain an absolute interpretation is for the fact that it encourages productive debate.
Free speech and hate speech can be classified as different topics and when arguing for one, we can also criticize the other. Free expression and free speech on campuses are crucial for sparking important conversations about equality and social justice, and the suspension of free speech and expression may have dire consequences on college campuses. First, freedom of expression allows students to show their own political, social, and cultural views, while also allowing students with common beliefs to align. Free speech and the call for free speech allows those who have been historically systematically oppressed to use their voice.
In Nat Hentoff essay, “Should This Student Have Been Expelled?” he debates that freedom of speech should be valued no matter how it is taken by others. The one example that pops out to me is the student at Brown University, Dough Hann. He states many offensive things about several people and is expelled because it was not the first time something like this has happened. Freedom of speech is difficult subject that has many different views on it.
Free Speech on Campus by Nat Hentoff is an interesting article in which Hentoff tries to prove that free speech is not on all college campuses. In the essay Hentoff uses examples such as fliers, professors, and guest speakers to get his point across. Hentoff says, “how are they going to learn to identify and cope with them” (para. 10), this to tell us about the protection of students from bad ideas. These attempts to protect are taking away from their first amendment. Hentoff feels that we should allow them to choose what ideas are bad.