Continue to talk about free speechBy Patrick Crowley | 02/25/2015 7:27pm
On Monday, The Crimson White ran a special edition about free speech on campus, or the lack thereof. Through restrictive “speech code” policies and Grounds Use Permits, the University is dampening the abilities of students to engage in meaningful discourse. This is perhaps to protect the brand value of the campus to potential new students or to reduce the possibility of national escalation of issues, possible problems that keep faculty and administrators up late at night. More importantly, The University of Alabama’s policies, whether intentional or otherwise, exist to the detriment of the students’ education.
Remember, to be a student in a University is to throw yourself relentlessly at the people around you (professors, students, etc.) and subsequently to learn from them as they learn from you. When few opportunities exist outside of the classroom to ask the hard questions and discuss the topics no one wants to, it becomes much harder to develop a sense of intellectual curiosity and a capability for respectful, intellectual exchange.
We all grew up listening and watching polemic debate. We will graduate into a country that is hesitantly – I’m being generous here – engaging in discussions that strike at the core tensions of American life and idealism, preferring to sweep the issues under the rug and into the future.
We saw what 50 years of sweeping the issue looks like on our own campus last fall. Let’s respectfully encourage The University of Alabama to reconsider certain policies and aid us in becoming better students and better citizens.
Patrick Crowley is the Opinions Editor of The Crimson White. He is a senior majoring in mathematics, finance and economics.