As journalists we like free speech, our job is based on it for the most part. It is something this country has really taken for granted to be honest, but this isn’t a long diatribe on what free speech means to Americans. Instead, it’s a look at the entertaining people that used to come onto campus.
New freshmen might not remember the guy with a wooden cross yelling at students or evil Santa and his conspiracy theories, but there was a time when anyone was able to come onto campus — free speech right?
But two years ago that changed.
A change to university policy now requires potential speakers to submit an application to the dean of students, plus provide any literature and let the dean know what they will be speaking about beforehand. This application process gives the dean the power of allowing who comes onto campus, and where they can speak. So now the university has a selective free speech policy.
There has been a decline in the speakers we see on campus. This can be attributed to any number of factors, maybe they didn’t want to be censored or denied access due to their message.
Even though this is a way to control the sometimes hostile speakers coming onto campus, it also hinders one of the most basic rights we have in this country. After all, this is a public university which would mean the campus is a public place where anyone can come and speak without limitations.