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College is a place of learning, a place where knowledge is challenged, and banks accounts are stretched. It is a place where many different people will all types of backgrounds meet for a common goal, higher education. Universities should ensure that campus are safe and stable environment for all students and facility. Limitation of hate speech on campus is necessary to prevent hate and violence. There are multiple incidents where such hate has been on the rise due to more diverse campus and spread of social media. For example, the fires that were set by students at UC Berkeley, online death threats to African American students on Penn’s campus, racial slur and verbal aggression at University of Missouri (Ben-Porath 14). While limitation of speech on campus might censor ideas, restrictions of speech should be implemented to prevent discrimination and hate.
To learn, students are granted freedom to question, inquire and discuss various topics. It is also the right of the university that all students are granted a safe space to expand their knowledge. There are many good reasons to limit speech on campus. It has been used to bully and harass others, especially online and it is typically directed to ethnic groups. Hate speech has been used to incite people to commit violence. Tynes et al (2013) suggest that internet racism manifest itself in microaggressions because of the intent to hurt and harm certain individuals or populations. Ethnic students regularly experience prejudice, racism, and hate in online settings.
Hate has been on the rise in the United States and this is present in our universities. Herbert describes an incident of hate speech at the University of Texas at Austin. A group of students printed and posted fliers that expressed anti-Muslim and anti-immigration context. The same group took it to Twitter to recruit similar likeminded students and created a hashtag, #MakeAmericaWhiteAgain. Herbert also explains the reaction of the students and faculty of the University, many were outraged, shocked but many were scared. The university soon created the “Hate-and-Bias-Policy”. The purpose of the policy of the was to prohibit discrimination and hate on campus. Universities should restrict free speech to prevent hate and harm to others. The incident that happened at Austin is only one of the many examples of hate speech on campus. According to the Foundation of Individual Rights in Education, “48 percent of students think the First Amendment should not protect hate speech” (FIRE par. 2). Universities should a safe space to ensure that each student has an equal right to education. The limitation of free speech is necessary to prevent bigotry and hate.
Universities should regulate free speech on campus not to damper democracy but because some speech can harm others based on their identities. There are many examples of hate on campus. Hancock describes an incident of how the president of Undergraduate Student Government was harassed. She was the first Indian American to win such position at University of Southern California. She was walking home with some friends when a fraternity boy yelled racial slurs and threw his drink at her (Hancock 1). Hancock then goes in depth on how similar incidents didn’t just happen at USC but many other campuses across the US. University of Maryland had some white nationalist fliers posted around campus. Michigan college students who took photos of black face and wrote captions of cotton picking. According to the Anti-Defamation league, they have identified 107 incidents of “white supremacist flyers on college campuses across the country” (Sturdivant par. 5). Hate speech on college campus have suddenly increased since last fall.
For free speech advocates, the prevention of speech will create a single ideology that everyone must follow. The first amendment states that citizens can express and share their personal views even if its unpopular. According to Chemerinsky and Gillam, they believe the limitation on free speech not only prevents democracy but also censors ideas. If a student or faculty makes a mistake, the solution to bad speech is more speech (Chemerinsky and Gillam 39). If universities limit free speech, then they are forgetting their mission and purpose of higher education. Free speech on campus allows for scholars to expand their knowledge without boundaries. It allows for student organization to express and exchange their view with others. It also helps young people to develop new ideas and push society forward with inventions and ideas. Advocates for free speech on campus believe that hate speech creates no serious harm and therefore shouldn’t be restricted. Many believe that the limitation of free speech will also limit the expression of ideas.
Hate speech allows for a great divide among students and faculty, although it hinders free speech it will prevent discrimination and hate. Universities only act if this speech incites violence which in many cases it does, but by that time its already too late. It is very important for universities to keep a very safe and academic learning environment for all students. Many students and faculty believe that a limitation in speech will just create a safe space for all. According to the “The American Freshmen: National Norms Fall 2015”, about 71 percent of the student population believe in restrictions of racists costumes and sexist speech on campus (Ben-Porath 9).
In conclusion, the limitation of hate speech on campus is necessary to have a safe and healthy learning environment. Although the regulation of free speech might censor ideas and prevent certain ideologies to grow. We have the freedom to do and say things, we also have freedom from things. When a student’s freedom to speak their minds, impinges on someone’s freedom to feel safe in their environment, then there should be a change in language. Universities cannot create a healthy environment if ethnic student bodies feel like their administration ignores acts of hate and violence against them. Universities should limit speech on campus to prevent verbal conduct that violates the civil rights of women and minorities on campus. Hate speech codes should be implemented at all universities to teach all students to learn and cooperate with diversity. Regulations on free speech is not a way to limit the rights of students and faculty, it is a way that everybody has the right to be equal, safe and have a good education.
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