Monday, October 31, 2016
Free Speech on Campus
Free speech has been a hot topic, especially with the demonstrations that they have had on campus lately. The first amendment of our Constitution is meant to protect this right of the individual, but we have had a tendency to stifle opinions that we do not agree with. We as college students are here to learn not only lessons in the classroom but lessons about life. One of the biggest takeaways from that should be real world experience. Yes, the speaker in the SUB commons, was rude, and bigoted, and hateful, and very much misrepresentative of Christian belief. But he has every right to profess his beliefs just as much as the rest of us do. We can’t filter out that kind of ignorance in the real world, so why should we be coddled and protected from it in a place that is supposed to be preparing us for just that? As a Student Government senator there was a big debate about this about a month ago when purposing a resolution to oppose safe spaces on campus. This has recently become an issue for UT Chattanooga and we collectively believe that this will keep us on track to keeping the conversations open, and not shunning ideas at the risk of offending people. College is a place to learn and discuss ideas openly without risk of being silenced because it may be unpopular. We have to learn to listen and discuss rather than yell over each other, and if we can’t learn to do that, then we will never be able to progress as a society.