As college students, we have a luxury that a lot of other Americans don’t get to enjoy—unadulterated freedom of speech.
The transition between high school and the work force is unique for everyone, but college students, or at least students of public colleges, have the opportunity to explore their constitutional freedoms on a deeper level. In high school, school administrators prevent students from being too outspoken and limit the types of clubs they can create. Similarly, once a person joins the work force, they must learn to comply with their company’s employee policies. Most of these policies include not engaging in political discussions in the office and not being vocal about controversial topics that could circle back to the company. College students don’t have to follow these same rules. When someone applies to a university they don’t have to sign a “gag order” of sorts in order to be admitted. There are no restrictions put in place about how a student should believe and what a student should say.
College students can create an organization about anything they want. We can have pro-life organizations, pro-choice organizations, democrat and republican organizations and so much more. Even our very own Washburn Review can publish and share any information that we deem important to campus.
Needless to say, freedom of speech is a liberty which people sometimes take for granted. Not all countries have freedom of speech. Currently, citizens are fighting for their freedoms in Hong Kong. Freedom of speech has been a motivation for war for centuries, and we have freedom of speech as both Americans and college students, but how are we using it?
Are we using our liberty to inspire positive change across our campus? Because, that is what we should be doing. Our time in college is our opportunity to explore our beliefs and share them with our peers and to make an impact in the world around us. So, please, share your beliefs and use your right to freedom of speech to improve the world while you still can.
Edited by Shelby Hanson, Adam White, Jessica Galvin