Free Speech Codes In College Essay

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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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