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Freedom of Speech Issues

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Freedom of speech is something that is authorized and granted to every US citizen by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. No matter rich or poor, young or old, every person holds different opinion and it’s their right to express it. The definition of Freedom of speech is that every person has the right to express his/her opinion without the fear of government or society. This is why it is said ‘Speech is not limited to public only’. Being individuals, we are all different. We all possess different ideas, tastes and thinking. Freedom of speech is something like freedom of thoughts. If we are comfortable with each other’s freedom of thoughts like ‘every person has the right to follow his thoughts, conscience’ then why we hate when someone express their ideas or opinions despite the fact that opinions are just opinions, never right or wrong.

First of all, I find many interesting points in the perspective of administrators and faculty in determining appropriate conduct of their students when it pertains to freedom of speech. I agree with the idea that freedom of speech should never be prohibited or limited by any organization, or especially any campus. About administrators, I appreciate Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ attitude toward freedom of speech issues as the leader of the Justice Department. He said his department “will enforce federal law, defend free speech, and protect students’ free expression from whatever end of the political spectrum it may come.” (Adam Harris, 2) In a society that freedom of speech is under attack by speech codes or free-spech zones, “having the aministration support efforts to end those attacks would be helpful” (Adam Harris, 3). I also agree with Mr. Sessions that “allowing free speech does not mean condoning violence such as that in Charlottesville, Va.” (Adam Harris, 3) I think it is a very important point that administrations need to be very clear and specific about the difference between the right of individual to express their opinions freely and violence. Free speaking is right, but violence is not. Like professor Steven Gerrard of Williams College, “our responsibility in the academic community is to resist power with argument, with reason.” (Beth, 5) And administrations, especially campus ones, play main role in preventing violence derive from free speech issue. Rudy Fichtenbaum, president of the American Association of University Professors, said it’s important for campus administrations to “Stand up and protect the rights of faculty and students, even when they say things that not everyone will agree with.” (Adam Harris, 3) About faculty, I have seen most of professors mentioned in all three articles show their supports for freedom of speech. Beyond support, they are, however, also concerned about how students today view free expression, free-speech. My views about the perspectives of administrators and faculty in determining their students conduct is everything



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