The Erosion of Free Speech on Campus
"This sanitization of our campuses from unfriendly ideas is inimical to student growth and impedes the education process. Once students leave sheltered campuses, they will confront many ideas with which they will disagree. The goal of a university is to teach students to respond with reasoned debate, rather than to silence others."
Yale University was the most recent in a long list of institutions of higher education to come under public scrutiny for offensive comments made by a professor or speaker on campus and the subsequent student response to silence such offensive speech.
Lost in all of these situations, however, is the important question of why does the university exist? Does silencing opinions or insulting those who voice them further this purpose? (If not, what is the objective of such actions?) Agree or disagree, offended or not, a diversity of opinions will always exist. If we are not able to discuss them at the university--the bastion of ideas and thought--then where?
The Observer l November 16, 2015