Tag: college students

Reed College Students Want to Throw Out Historical Authors Because They’re White

By Mason Mohon | @mohonofficial

A student organization known as Reedies Against Racism has called for the removal of all white authors from the humanities 110 class.

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Hofstra Activists Demand The Removal Of Thomas Jefferson Statue

By Jason Patterson | United States

The left winged activists at Hofstra University are protesting for the removal of a statue of Thomas Jefferson from campus.

Hofstra student Ja’Loni Owens, a Black Lives Matter advocate, started a change.org petition that warns the statue will bring “slavery, rape, eugenics, [and] anti-black racism” to discussion. She claims founding father’s statue belongs in a museum with proper context, “not displayed on a college campus, especially not in front of a hub of student life.”

Owens specifically addressed “white allies” in their Facebook event for the Friday protest called Jefferson Has Gotta Go. It will be held at the statue in front of the student center. She wrote:

“Please understand that this is a protest against white supremacy and that you as white people – even though you’re allies – benefit from white supremacy!” Owens then went on to say “Your obligation is to fight that! Come prepared to step up if racial slurs or otherwise offensive things are said to organizers of color or POC attending. If you’re able, come prepared to hold posters and like….PROTEST.”

The university decided to approve the protest, but Owens wrote that “if Hofstra was supportive and embraced anti-racist work, we would not be protesting.”

The protest is co-sponsored by a number of campus organizations: Campus Feminist Collective, Collegiate Women of Color, Democrats of Hofstra University, Hofstra History Club, Hofstra NAACP Chapter, Peace Action Matters, Queer & Trans People of Color Coalition, Student Advocates of Safer Sex, The Gender Identity Federation, The Pride Network of Hofstra University, and Young Democratic Socialists of Hofstra.

“It’s important to note not all activists on campus support the protest. Not to bring problems, but I’d like to point out that as you are making the protest about your right to freedom of speech, don’t forget that people like Jefferson gave you that right,” Hofstra student Conor Dawson wrote, as reported by CampusReform.org.

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The Generation Of Quit

By Andrew Sission | United States

I want you to think for a moment about the generation currently in college. What comes to mind for you? For me it is riots, and temper tantrums across campuses, claiming tolerance of all ideas but rejecting the ones that they don’t agree with. This generation has been given several names, most popularly the snowflake generation. I, however, prefer to call it the generation of quit.

Let me say that this doesn’t apply to everyone in this generation, there are exceptions to every rule, and I certainly hope that you the reader are one. The only thing that I ask of you when you are reading this is that you are honest with yourself.

Let’s start with the sheer hypocrisy. A generation that claims to be tolerant of all ideas seems to only be tolerant of its own ideas. If you don’t believe me, then why do campuses have to spend countless thousands of dollars on security when a remotely conservative speaker comes to campus. That doesn’t sound tolerant at all to me.

Another thing that I have noticed is the willingness to quit when things get tough. This is a two fault problem with one fault going to the parents and the other to the individual. It’s the parent’s job to instill morals in their child, one of the most important of those being drive and willingness to keep going when the going gets tough. Despite this, there is only so far that parents can go. At some point, the child has to take initiative on their own. There has to be a determination to persevere and to take challenges head-on. This isn’t there in most college-age adults. In all honesty, it’s easier to give up and peruse degrees that are not challenging because hard work is hard. Think about it, why is there a shortage of people wanting to enter the medical field right now, it’s hard to peruse.

It’s time for this generation to accept some accountability. Welcome to the real world, people don’t always agree with you and you cannot throw a fit when that happens. It’s time for parents to start to reinstall morals in their children, and it’s time for children to take responsibility for themselves. The world doesn’t come with safe zones, sometimes you just have to buck up and take what is thrown at you. The world isn’t kind most of the time, you have to learn to deal with it.

Image from Odyssey.

Free Speech Zones: A Backhanded Slap to Students

By Addie Mae Villas | USA

In the day of age of trigger warnings and safe spaces, free speech zones have been appearing on college campuses everywhere, restricting free speech for thousands. What once started as a way to provide a safe way for anti-Vietnam War protesters, has now become an easy pathway to suppress the voices of those with the “unpopular opinion” and dare to challenge the agenda of the universities. Not only are these free speech zones often completely unconstitutional, but they eliminate the discussion that is so often associated with higher levels of learning.

The fight for free speech has always been a hard fight battle. More times than not we see brave students taking on the establishment of their schools to fight for what they deserve. One prime example of this can be seen in Tinker v. Des Moines, a landmark case that stated students still have rights, mainly the First Amendment, when on public funded land. The decision was based on the fact that “Students don’t shed their constitutional rights at the schoolhouse gates.”, meaning that students have every right to peacefully protest, gather, and say anything they want without repercussions from the school. This case not only showed that students cannot be silenced but also became the basis for unlaw action against students. The fight for the First Amendment rights can also be seen in Healy v. James, which was judged on the Tinker Standards, and came to the basis that the organization, Students for a Democratic Society, had every right to use school buildings to have their meetings, seeing as public universities were public forums. This is also backed by the Equal Access Act that prevents schools from discriminating against religious, political, or philosophical groups that wish to have met and share their message.  There are many other cases that have set a precedence of not denying rights to students on public land, yet students are still be censored and confined to their views.

Currently, 33.9% of public colleges and universities received a red light rating from FIRE, Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. The red light rating is defined as a speech code that “both clearly and substantially restricts freedom of speech, or that bars public access to its speech-related policies” this is supplemented by the fact that red light ratings are a direct violation of the First Amendment. This is down from 79% in 2009, but 33.9% is still a substantial amount of schools, especially when 52.8% of the schools looked at received a yellow light rating, that implies the school has policies that could be seen as suppression of students right to expression. With schools implementing free speech zones, sometimes as small as 616 square feet at Pierce College, it not only confines the reach of the messages trying to be advocated but also gives colleges and universities the option to pick and choose the rules they want to follow. The Pierce College case is important for the fact that the students were met with opposition for handing out Spanish versions of the Constitution. By suing Pierce College, Kevin Shaw hopes to show the violation of the First Amendment for restricting speech to a set zone, but also requiring a permit and a set time for the distribution of materials or the spreading of a message.

College campuses were once the place for healthy and lively discussion and debate. Now, it is filtered to ensure that no one is harmed by the truth and limits interaction and dialogue. Attorney General Jeff Sessions stated that colleges “a place of robust debate,” had become “an echo chamber of political correctness and homogenous thought, a shelter for fragile egos.” Going back to the Tinker v. Des Moines case, a student doesn’t lose their rights to free speech or assembly when they enter the world of academia. In the words of George Orwell “If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.” Although the truth may hurt, it still deserves to be shared and not restricted by the authority above.