The Independent Student Newspaper of Northern Kentucky University.

The Northerner

Free speech, free campus

Dustin Robinson

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As Americans, we have certain securities guaranteed to us in the Bill of Rights of our Constitution. Under no circumstances should those rights be violated. Our rights are protected so long as those rights do not infringe upon the rights of the others.

As my American Politics professor Bruce McClure often says, “My rights end where your nose begins.”

Last week, The Northerner reported on an incident that occurred over the summer where an SGA Senator was arrested for disorderly conduct while representing a campus organization, Students for Change.

Sen. Dennis Chaney was well within his rights to distribute condoms and hang up signs that reflected the opinion of the organization he was representing.

We are adults. We are aware of sex. We are aware of war. Censoring a student doesn’t help a situation, rather it can ignite the fuse for disruption. Does NKU want to be perceived as a university that silences the voice of its students?

Assistant Dean of Students Amy Arbino-Whiley went too far when, according to Sen. Chaney, she removed the signs that he had posted and asked him to cease distributing condoms.

While the message “Bombing for peace is like f***ing for virginity” is very blunt, it is still a protected freedom. We are college students. Adults. We have been exposed to language such as this since before middle school.

We are no longer children and should not be treated as such. Censoring a message because it may be viewed negatively is absurd. Agreeing with and respecting opinions are completely different things.

As adults, we are allowed to form our own opinions. Expressing them is our freedom as Americans.

Every day I hear opinions that I don’t agree with, but that doesn’t keep me from respecting the person and opinion. Some of my best friends often have opinions that are substantially different from my own.

No good can result from censorship of an opinion expressed in a civil manner. Had controversial issues been censored, we may not have made the advances in civil liberties that our country has today.

Blacks might not have been emancipated. If Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. didn’t speak up because his opinion was controversial, he would never have been the civil rights leader that he was.

Women could still be without the right of suffrage. Had Alice Paul not stood up for what she believed in, what would our society be like?

If Sen. Chaney’s freedoms had not been violated initially, the subsequent events would have never taken place.

Ultimately, all opinions should be respected. As a society, we will always disagree on issues. If the message is being presented in a civil manner, then there should be no problem.

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The Independent Student Newspaper of Northern Kentucky University.
Free speech, free campus