New England College Free Speech on College Campuses Analysis Paper The First Amendment protects all speech on most campuses (at all public universities, and even at private schools in states like New Jersey). Free speech is not only protected by law; it’s an important academic value: how can we seek the truth when we don’t allow dissenting views?
The value of free speech is currently being tested on many campuses. Many students on both sides of the political spectrum struggle to find the appropriate response to speech which they find deeply offensive. Imagine that the Rider community is facing two free speech controversies. The first concerns students displaying the Confederate flag in their dorm rooms, as happened at the University of Alabama. (You can read about that here: https://www.teenvogue.com/story/confederate-flags-in-dorm-rooms (Links to an external site.)). The second concerns students burning the American flag in political protest, as happened at American University. (You can read about that here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/grade-point/wp/2016/11/09/student-protesters-burn-american-flags-at-confrontation-over-trump-victory/?utm_term=.e97097616739 (Links to an external site.)).
Both of these forms of speech are protected by the First Amendment and by New Jersey state law. But college students have conflicting and sometimes misguided views about free speech on college campuses, which you can read about here: https://www.brookings.edu/blog/fixgov/2017/09/18/views-among-college-students-regarding-the-first-amendment-results-from-a-new-survey/ (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
Write a 2-3 paragraphs discussing the value of free speech on college campuses. It is always easiest to defend free speech when you agree with it, but what about speech you disagree with? Think about these two incidents (hanging the Confederate flag and burning the American flag). What do these incidents have in common? How are they different? Think about your own reaction to these two hypothetical incidents, and whether your defense of free speech is consistent across both situations. Should it be consistent? Why or why not?
You will be graded on your understanding of the material and the issue, the quality of your argument, and your fairness to opposing views.
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