Freedom Of Speech Codes Essay

542 Words 3 Pages
The Freedom of speech is a hot topic in America this year due to the increase of colleges implementing speech codes on their campus. Speech Codes are defined as any university regulation or policy that prohibits the expression that would be protected by the First Amendment. Any policy such as harassment, a protest, or demonstration can be a speech code of it prohibits protected speech or expression (FIRE). According to Benjamin Welch who wrote about University of Nebraska’s speech codes, “examples of such policies could include prohibiting ‘telling a joke that conveys sexism’ or ‘content that may negatively affect an individual's self-esteem.” It is argued that these codes will protect the students, by preventing hurt feelings, embarrassment and discrimination. However, these codes not only go against our First Amendment right but leave little growth in our society without the minority voice, or opinion that may be “offensive” in the eyes of others. …show more content…
According to Gerald Uelmen, who wrote on the Santa Clara University site about speech codes, “the most fundamental argument against hate speech codes rests on the idea that they violate a fundamental human right, freedom of speech. Such a fundamental right, it is argued, should not be limited except to prevent serious harm to others.” Libel can be described as a cause of serious harm and therefore is banned. However, campuses restrict opinion that is often offensive, but does not cause serious harm to others, in order to prevent hate speech. Additionally, students who have reasonable yet independent views will be frightened to speak in their classes because of the consequences they will receive from disobeying the speech codes in their university (Uelmen). Therefore, a university should listen to all opinions to maximize their diversity of

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