Speech Codes

Essay by Anonymous UserUniversity, Bachelor'sB, January 1996

download word file, 4 pages 3.8 1 reviews

Damn fine paper too long

Speech Codes

The academic year ends as it began. Campus enforcers, the deans and administrators of universities, are still busy denying that any effort to restrict free speech exists. The concern over 'political correctness,' they say, is overstated. Such denials don't alter the clear evidence that freedom of speech is no longer assured at many colleges and universities.

We have only to look at schools where nervously compliant administrations have established 'harassment' policies. These policies, or codes, are written laws that the university feels they must have to equal the balance of its racially mixed students. These behavioral codes, which more often than not bear a close resemblance to a political sermon, would clearly restrict freedom of speech as well as a few other freedoms. Laughing at a racially derogatory joke, for instance, is sometimes listed among the punishable forms of harassment.

At the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, protesters demanding more minority control of the Collegian which is a student newspaper.

The paper has a minority balance, but the people that run it, the people with control were mainly white and male. The protesters invaded the paper's offices twice, destroyed property, and threatened and attacked staff members. One protester chased an editor and threatened him with a baseball bat.

In the face of this violence, the administration took a loftily evenhanded view. The whole thing was, U. Mass. Chancellor Richard O'Brien said, a struggle 'between the ins and the outs,' and that he did not think the university should take sides. The chancellor did not say what degree of mob rule and violence it would take for the

administration to decide it could venture an opinion on the matter. He might, of course, have consulted his own university's harassment policy, which includes in it a definition...