As of this writing we still have first Amendment rights, at least on paper. However, has anyone tried to exercise that right on campus lately? It could get you arrested.
“Not in America!” you say? Even here in the former land of the free we can no longer speak freely. This verdict was not handed down by our national, state, or even local government, but by your local college.
NKU does not allow you to speak your mind, hand out pamphlets, or even talk to a group of people just anywhere on campus. You have to be standing in the “free-speech” area.
So I suppose I am free to say whatever I want as long as I remain hidden down behind some concrete blocks behind the food court. Even then it has to be stamped and approved by the Dean’s office.
No big deal? It is just a college campus. It’s not as if it’s a public gathering place for people to discuss and exchange ideas. We would not want students speaking their minds on anything. That might lead to debate. That might lead someone to question openly, outside the “free speech” area, the labyrinth of sometimes pointless rules that plague NKU.
The thing the powers seem to fear the most is that someone might be offended. Yet the fact that some might find what I say offensive does not rob me of the freedom to say it. The first amendment does not state, “freedom to speak, as long as nobody gets upset”. Even truth and good ideas often upset people. That’s no reason to stop people from speaking.
Does anyone else think we should do away with the free-speech area and let students speak freely wherever they choose? If you do think this, be careful not to say it just anywhere on campus, at least not to a group of people. You might just get arrested.