Are We Free To Speak on College Campuses in Today’s America?

Last spring, a speech on campus by Robert Spencer sparked conversation over the bounds of freedom of expression (Photo Jamie Welch / The Gettysburgian)

Last spring, a speech on campus by Robert Spencer sparked conversation over the bounds of freedom of expression (Photo Jamie Welch / The Gettysburgian)

By Brian Casper, Guest Columnist

Everyone knows about anti-speech protests and riots at schools like the University of California, Berkeley, or Middlebury College in Vermont. These are the instances that have been televised, but hundreds of schools across the nation have taken part in new initiatives to silence conservative view points on college campuses.

To say hundreds of colleges may even be an understatement; this is because, understandably, the percentage of liberals filling college administration jobs and professorships has increased steadily since the mid-20th century.

This trend is ironic because true liberalism is the exact opposite of what we see today. Liberalism is supposed to fight for everyone’s right to say what they want.

Liberal ideas are supposed to encourage dialogue among differing viewpoints. They are not supposed to force closet-conservatives to sink in their seats during a philosophy or political science class out of fear for their grades being lowered.

Forums outside the classroom, where students may feel more comfortable speaking their minds, become battlefields as well. These battles of ideas end up with conservative students being labeled with every ism and phobia in the dictionary, and either end conversations or isolate students from the rest of their peers.

Even at Gettysburg, where I have met many closet-conservatives, this suppression occurs.
If professors are not attacking capitalism and religion on their own, they do not care to moderate debates where students are ganged up on for giving their opinion, no matter how thoughtful it is.

This is not every class, professor, or student, but it occurs way too often. If a school regularly preaches mottos of inclusivity, it, too, should follow those guidelines.

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Author: Gettysburgian Staff

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