Speaking of freedom

More college campuses clamping down on marketplace of ideas

  • Follow Editorials

College campuses may have once been considered a haven for various political views and other ideas to be openly discussed and debated.

If not at college, the grounds for higher learning, where else would this be tolerated? Now, campuses across the country have been increasingly restrictive of their students’ freedom – reprimanding both faculty and pupils for presumably offensive speech, whether it is in the classroom or on their Facebook page. Since when did the protection of our First Amendment rights become inactive?

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) has been fighting these restrictions one university at a time. FIRE’s website
(thefire.org), lists all of the public cases against universities it has taken on and labels the ones that “clearly and substantially restrict freedom of speech” as “red light” universities. On this list are prestigious institutions such as Johns Hopkins University, after a student was suspended a few years ago regarding a racially insensitive event invitation on Facebook.

One of the universities that received FIRE’s attention is Georgia’s own Valdosta State University. A student was expelled in 2007 after making a satirical collage concerning the school’s president and posting it on his own Facebook page. This case is among many others, such as the University of Miami’s refusal to officially acknowledge a right-wing student group on campus; the University of Chicago censoring speech on students’ online profiles; and a student who was accused of racial harassment for reading a book with a racy title at an Indiana college.

As you pack your kids off for college, just keep in mind their right to free speech is not always
assured.

Don’t necessarily expect them to be
protected by their universities in times of trouble, either. Take Stanford University, for an example. According to FIRE, a male student was determined guilty of sexual assault because the accuser was intoxicated during the encounter. Stanford also lowered its evidentiary standard right in the middle of the proceedings against the male student – all while instructing the student “jurors” that logic and being persuasive are both traits of a guilty man.

Oops! The field of suspected rapists just exploded!

College is becoming more of an overprotective and controlling parental figure, rather than a place for professors and students, alike, to exercise their natural rights and not live in fear of being reprimanded for their opinions.

It is not the responsibility of the school to agree with the views of all who attend, but it is their responsibility to uphold the freedom to voice them.

Comments (40) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
Riverman1
82451
Points
Riverman1 08/24/11 - 11:37 pm
0
0
I don't know much about word

I don't know much about word processors, but the one y'all are using has your line wrap, spacing, paragraphs or some dang thing messed up on this editorial. Don't let the liberals make fun of you.

desertcat6
1140
Points
desertcat6 08/25/11 - 04:11 am
0
0
Quality control editor must

Quality control editor must be out. Other articles are just as bad this morning. If I can it, someone really dropped the ball.

fd1962
26
Points
fd1962 08/25/11 - 09:00 am
0
0
This is a curious tack for
Unpublished

This is a curious tack for our fascist-inspired editorial staff to pursue. Reminds me how they finally piled-on to hapless Geo. Bush in the waning months of his administration. Also, how many parents ever select their child's college based on Junior's right to free speech?!

Rhetor
1004
Points
Rhetor 08/25/11 - 09:19 am
0
0
Content control among the

Content control among the editorial staff also seems to be an issue. First, students have extensive 1st Amendment rights, and, second, the editorial simply doesn't give the whole story in the above cases. For example, the U of Miami case occurred 'way back in 2003 and the Advocates for Conservative Thought eventually did charter at U of Miami, dissipating a couple of years later, presumably when its founders graduated. The organization no longer seems to exist at all, which explains why they no longer have a campus presence. Third, for a man to have sex with a woman who is under the influence of liquor or drugs is not only against the rules of student conduct, but is also a felony. It's called rape, my friends. If he had sex with a woman who was intoxicated, the young man in question is lucky that he isn't doing 20 years in a high-security prison. So what's next for the ACES? An editorial complaining that colleges are interfering with students' sacred right to beat one another? An editorial complaining that campuses are interfering with the freedom of burglars? Or what? I've got to say that this is the first editorial that I've ever read in a major newspaper that appears to defend rape. Finally, before you take the word of obscure organizations like FIRE, you might consult with other sources--as I'm sure your reporters are trained to do--to determine whether the accusations in question are actually meritorious.

fd1962
26
Points
fd1962 08/25/11 - 09:34 am
0
0
Let's face it, Rhetor, this
Unpublished

Let's face it, Rhetor, this is just an example of boilerplate editorials available for sale to mediocre editorial staffs - similar to canned sermons preachers frequently purchase. It's a desert out there.

Riverman1
82451
Points
Riverman1 08/25/11 - 09:39 am
0
0
No sex if drinking? About

No sex if drinking? About half the people in the nation wouldn't be here if that were the case.

Rhetor
1004
Points
Rhetor 08/25/11 - 10:01 am
0
0
Riverman, the law is the law,

Riverman, the law is the law, and this has been the law for a long time. Believe it or not, there are people who obey it. Have a great day.

harley_52
23010
Points
harley_52 08/25/11 - 10:09 am
0
0
Rhetor, what "law" are you

Rhetor, what "law" are you talking about? I've never heard of such a law. If having sex while drinking were a felony the prisons would be overflowing and I wouldn't have been able to play so much golf in my younger days.

shrimp for breakfast
5422
Points
shrimp for breakfast 08/25/11 - 10:11 am
0
0
Way too much political

Way too much political correctness these days.

Riverman that is funny as Heck!

Rhetor
1004
Points
Rhetor 08/25/11 - 10:37 am
0
0
Unbelievable! Horrifying! I

Unbelievable! Horrifying! I have seen some appalling comments by conservatives on this website, but the above comments shock me out of my socks. People, ignorance of the law is no excuse. The fact that some people don't know the most basic elements of our nation's criminal code doesn't change the facts. If a man has sex with a drunken woman, and if she calls the police when she wakes up, he will turn grey in prison. This is the law across the nation--Wisconsin a few years ago was the last state to adopt such a law. Harley_52, the law is called "rape." Have you never heard of that? Duh. A woman who is under the influence cannot legally give consent to sex in any state of the union. If you good people don't know that, you'd better inform yourselves fast. Shrimp, is it funny to take advantage of someone who is incapacitated? Unbelievable. For my part, I think that basic morals are important. Not raping people is not a matter of political correctness. It's a basic matter of right and wrong. Good heavens.

harley_52
23010
Points
harley_52 08/25/11 - 11:25 am
0
0
So, Rhetor, I'm not so sure

So, Rhetor, I'm not so sure it's all as cut and dried as you make it out to be. Maybe I'm just not tuned in, but I haven't seen a flood of rape convictions on men who had sex with women who had been drinking. And since I think there's a lot of it going on, there must be other factors involved beyond drinking and sex.

burninater
9416
Points
burninater 08/25/11 - 11:38 am
0
0
Harley, the law is quite

Harley, the law is quite simple. As rhetor says, educate yourself, because your gut instinct is not always correct.

If an individual is intoxicated, they cannot LEGALLY consent to have sex. Male or female. What this means is not that it's a felony to have sex while drunk. It means that an individual can choose to press charges for sex without consent if they were intoxicated at the time.

If you are in a long-standing, consensual relationship and your partner tried to charge rape because they were intoxicated, they would probably have a hard time proving their case unless other signs of violence were present, because a history of consent had been established.

However, if you are on a casual date, having sex while intoxicated will potentially make you subject to rape charges if the other party feels as though they did not consent.

It's pretty simple: unless you know exactly how someone feels about having sex, you cannot claim the sex was consensual. The court and the law view intoxication as a mental state that disallows the giving of consent. If someone claims after the fact that, due to intoxication, it was rape, the law treats it as rape.

If you have friends or family who also do not know this legal fact, particularly if they are in a charged situation like college (with alcohol and promiscuity common), you would do them and yourself a favor to become aware that this is, in fact, the law concerning consensual sex.

burninater
9416
Points
burninater 08/25/11 - 11:42 am
0
0
Here's a clearer way to

Here's a clearer way to express it:

The law says that you cannot legally give consent to sex if intoxicated. Therefore, if someone charging rape were intoxicated at the time of the event, particularly in a casual sexual encounter, THEY NEED NOT PROVE ANYTHING ELSE about the circumstances of the event.

burninater
9416
Points
burninater 08/25/11 - 11:45 am
0
0
And I have to agree with

And I have to agree with Rhetor:

My kids may be less likely to be targeted by racism and rape at school, and some people view this as a problem?

I don't have much sympathy for your discomfort at losing some access to your long-standing freedoms of racism and rape.

harley_52
23010
Points
harley_52 08/25/11 - 11:46 am
0
0
Burninater, my "gut instinct"

Burninater, my "gut instinct" hasn't changed. I see no evidence of a flood of prosecutions of men having sex with women who've been drinking. Further, I have no reason to believe there is any less of that behavior now than there was forty years ago. Actually, I'm guessing there's more of it today than then.

harley_52
23010
Points
harley_52 08/25/11 - 12:00 pm
0
0
Perhaps sex and drinking is,

Perhaps sex and drinking is, in a way, like speeding. It's against the law, you could get into legal trouble if prosecuted and found guilty, yet nearly everybody does it anyway.

nyyfaninbos
0
Points
nyyfaninbos 08/25/11 - 12:04 pm
0
0
Rhetor, it would pay for you

Rhetor, it would pay for you to do a little research before assuming guilt of this man. While, it is in the student code of conduct that students cannot consent to to have sex while drunk at Stanford, both parties had been drinking. Why wasn't she treated the same way because he couldn't consent either.

Also, if you read the story write up on TheFire's website, you would see that not only were there NO grounds for a rape charge from the police, they have actually charged the women with filling a false police report.

Don't you think its a little per-ponderous that the school won't take into account the legal standing of this case when determining a student's guilt? I mean, I would imagine that the police have a better ability to investigate these things than students/faculty since that is their full time job.

harley_52
23010
Points
harley_52 08/25/11 - 12:14 pm
0
0
Wow! nyfaninbos, you say

Wow! nyfaninbos, you say both were drinking and they only charge the male? What kind of fairness is that?

And you say there were "NO grounds for a rape charge," how can that be? Rhetor and burninater have assured me all that's necessary is that the woman be drinking. You mean they were fibbing? Why burninnater even managed to work "racism" into the case somehow.

Riverman1
82451
Points
Riverman1 08/25/11 - 12:57 pm
0
0
So if a guy is drinking and

So if a guy is drinking and has sex with a woman who is sober, she can be arrested for rape? Is there a statute of limitations on that?

harley_52
23010
Points
harley_52 08/25/11 - 01:07 pm
0
0
Riverman, I think the guy

Riverman, I think the guy would have to file a complaint first and my experience has been that most of us are pretty forgiving. I, for one, never held a grudge.

copperhead
1035
Points
copperhead 08/25/11 - 01:07 pm
0
0
If it happened in S.C.,there

If it happened in S.C.,there are no statutes of limitations on any crime.

Riverman1
82451
Points
Riverman1 08/25/11 - 01:14 pm
0
0
Harley, heck, I don't hold a

Harley, heck, I don't hold a grudge. I'd just remind her how I was keeping her out of prison by keeping quiet. Evil, heh, heh, heh.

harley_52
23010
Points
harley_52 08/25/11 - 01:21 pm
0
0
I think the statute of

I think the statute of limitations issue is obviated by the perishability of the evidence that a crime had been committed in the first place.

While a grin might be an indicator, it probably can't be used as "proof."

Riverman1
82451
Points
Riverman1 08/25/11 - 01:32 pm
0
0
Harley, nice defense. Ha

Harley, nice defense. Ha

harley_52
23010
Points
harley_52 08/25/11 - 01:56 pm
0
0
I guess if there's a lesson

I guess if there's a lesson to be learned from this whole discussion it's to warn young men to stay away from left-wing chicks, or at least never offer to buy one a drink.

Rhetor
1004
Points
Rhetor 08/25/11 - 02:31 pm
0
0
Wow! I'm signing off now, but

Wow! I'm signing off now, but one comment: conservatives are, traditionally, law and order people. What has gone wrong with the conservative movement that conservative newspapers and posters would take a pro-felony position? You can no longer claim ignorance, because you've now been informed. If you don't believe it, that's on you. Sorry, but the law is the law. If you don't like it, tough. Yes, there are many rapes that are not prosecuted--some figures say that as many as 90% of all rapes are never reported to the police. That doesn't help the defendant in the 10% of cases that are reported, now does it? And the tasteless jokes posted above? You guys seem to think that crimes against women are a laughing matter. Yikes!

wunderfulme
0
Points
wunderfulme 08/25/11 - 03:22 pm
0
0
I do believe that if a person

I do believe that if a person makes the conscious decision to plan a time/day to go to any establishment that sells alcohol and deliberately chooses a specific person to buy the alcohol and then at that time makes the conscious decision to drink every drink bought for them, it is pretty much understood that the person purchasing one drink after another is not spending the money for the priviledge of continued company. If a person wants to go to an establishment to drink then it has been suggested by many that said person should take money to purchase the alcohol that said person intends to consume. Am I excusing rape? Absolutely not. Rape is a horrible sex crime that degrades a humans self image and all rapist should be shot, not sent to prison to think about the crime committed, they should be shot to kill; but don't go to a bar and expect to get drunk off of someone else's dime and expect to walk away, that person is expecting something in return for that dime. Don't act shocked by this remark, we all know it's true.

InChristLove
22468
Points
InChristLove 08/25/11 - 03:35 pm
0
0
Most people will agree that

Most people will agree that rape is a crime which involves sexually forcing yourself upon a person without their consent. Under Penal Code 261, although no force is used, when a victim is “prevented” from resisting due to intoxication then it is considered rape. When interpreting the phrase “prevented from resisting” it must be determine whether as a result of the intoxication the victim lacked the capacity to give valid consent. Saying having sex with someone drunk is rape is very misleading and I believe certain factors need to be taken into consideration (especially where both parties are intoxicated) before you can classify it as rape, If you have sex with someone who is clearly intoxicated to the point they are unable to participate then I’d say you are pretty desperate and the partner would probably have a legitimate complaint. If you have a willing partner who is a little tipsy or not so intoxicated that they are joining in the party, then no, in my opinion this isn’t rape. It’s just a drunken copulation.

harley_52
23010
Points
harley_52 08/25/11 - 03:38 pm
0
0
Rhetor, let me assure you I

Rhetor, let me assure you I am indeed a "law and order" person. I think you and burninater have grossly overstated the issue and the problem. I remain convinced there are still plenty of people having sex after a few drinks and there has been no massive increase in rape prosecutions at least that I can see.

In spite of your apparent belief that sex after a few drinks is "rape," I'm pretty sure most people don't see it that way.

Even in the case which set you off earlier, it appears the case against the male was dropped for lack of evidence and the female was charged with filing a false police report. At least that's what another poster (nyyfaninbos) concluded after researching it. He also asked a relevant question which I haven't seen you answer. Specifically, if a sober woman has sex with an intoxicated man, is she similarly guilty of "rape?"

InChristLove
22468
Points
InChristLove 08/25/11 - 04:29 pm
0
0
'don't go to a bar and expect

'don't go to a bar and expect to get drunk off of someone else's dime and expect to walk away, that person is expecting something in return for that dime"

Whether it's expected or not, if a person chooses to get drunk off of someone else's dime and chooses to walk away, they have the right. It may be inconsiderate, you may be considered a moocher or tease, but in no way does it obligate you to have sex with the person furnishing the drinks.

If you choose to oblige the supplier of drinks that is certainly your right but it's wise on the part of the one supplying the drinks to make sure the one he/she is picking up hasn't had one too many.

Back to Top

Search Augusta jobs