Freedom Of Speech In College

1875 Words 8 Pages
For every coin, there are two distinct sides. Sadly, UC Davis, like every other college in the US, has had the same problem with Free Speech. On one side, many of the people who attend or work at their campus want to be able to speak their minds freely without being harassed or chastised. For them, being able to say whatever they want is a right that should not be limited by policies and restriction, while, for others, there should be a limit to what people can say. By specifying what students and professors shouldn’t say, these people are protecting themselves and others from possible harassment and chastisement, which include racism, sexism, homophobia and xenophobia. While it’s understandable for colleges to allow their residents to use …show more content…
On the side of pro-free speech, students and professors are afraid that policies will limit how they talk and the subjects they can talk about in the classroom. By restricting topics like racism and sexism through social policies, colleges may keep students from actually learning and understanding what makes them so despised. Unfortunately, this total freedom of speech may expose students and professors to bigotry and persecution. On the other hand, for many residents, they see speech codes such as trigger warnings and safe zones as essential ways to create a peaceful environment. Enforcing restrictions on certain language or subjects that might be offensive, colleges hope to keep their campuses free from discrimination that might make students and faculty feel unsafe and insecure, impeding their concentration on their studies and education. However, this strain on student’s and faculty’s freedom of speech might also limit how much they can express themselves. Unfortunately, unlike the coin that can simply land on heads or tails, they may never reach a perfect balance without discounting or hurting either side of the conflict as some may enjoy using words like the “N” and “F” word to truly express themselves or show what these phrases mean while others will consider them as a form of discrimination and bigotry that should not remain in any school …show more content…
Before the 2016-17 school year began, John Ellison, the Dean of Students, sent a letter informing his incoming freshmen that, to encourage an environment “‘without fear of censorship’” (“University of Chicago Tells Freshmen It Does Not Support ‘Trigger Warnings,’” Schaper), the school would not support speech restrictions like “safe spaces” and “trigger warnings.” Ellison hoped that, by introducing students to uncomfortable situations and topics without campus support, students would have to face the reality of the problems and learn how to deal with them themselves. In response, Alia Wong wrote in her article “What is a Trigger Warning, anyway?” how Ellison had made mistake as he had misunderstood the significance of these “censorships.” Based on the letter, he believes that trigger warnings had sugarcoated serious and realistic situations, protecting and keeping students away from dealing with and finding solutions to them, while ruining their educational preparedness for the real world; however, in Wong’s opinion, he forgot to recognize how trigger warnings could help teachers warn students and make them more prepared for uncomfortable and difficult topics. For many of college Alumni and fellow colleagues Wong spoke to, these trigger warnings had made the classroom more

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