Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana suffocates free speech

Have you ever noticed the blue lines on the Quad? Ever wondered what they’re for?
In 2016, Augustana College students woke to find the Quad littered with popular right-wing phrases from the 2016 United States presidential campaign and election. Unfortunately, the College Republicans, of which I am now the sitting chair, were almost entirely responsible for it. As a result of this event, the Quad was split into designated “Free Speech Zones,” marked by blue lines. I both do not agree with the events which happened during “the Chalking” or the resulting restriction of free speech.
I am a firm believer in discussion. I believe that all sides of political discussion and general free speech should be done in a manner which can further other discussion and not merely to offend. The manner by which and the content itself which was written on the Quad could have definitely been done in a different and more proficient way. Yet, the greatest grievance of all is the reaction from the administration.
Noticeably, after the event, the campus responded by chalking their own responses to the club’s comments. This is one of the best ways to go about discussing these very controversial topics. The administration, however, found this rampant chalking and use of free speech to be too much. So they designated a “free speech zone” in the quad, marked by blue tape.
I am a huge free speech enthusiast. I absolutely hate when folks try to limit or constrict the use and content of our first amendment as members of this country. I wholeheartedly disagree with the way that this was handled and feel that the administration and those who agreed on these “free speech zones” are doing a disservice to the members of this college and to the constitution in the country which this institution stands.
While I can understand that the content written in 2016 may have been provocative, if not offensive, free speech is not limited by any stretch except that which will impinge upon the rights of other members of this country. I do not believe that the club has the country and the campus’s best interests at heart when they began this event, but I believe they got a discussion going where there previously was only a melting pot of liberal ideas.
This campus needs more conservative movements. It needs more movements of every political party. We may live in a country with a two party system, but there is not just two parties. This country will fail if we constrain ourselves to think in Republican and Democrat.
Yet, we cannot have a great discussion if the campus will go to such heights as designating “free speech zones,” if only for written speech. If they were to constrict written public speech, who’s to say they won’t ever designate areas where we can and cannot talk to one another?
People say that our country is becoming worse and worse on the daily. I say that we can begin to fix that if we talk to one another and our speech isn’t being restricted.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All Augustana Observer Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Activate Search
Augustana suffocates free speech