A college euphemism for unconstitutional censorship and selective gagging, "speech codes" have been installed in many of America's top colleges to ensure that they are and will remain ultraliberal. Universities have always been leftist hotbeds, from Berkeley to Cornell, and as we all know the college administrapo must maintain an image of liberalness to attract students. Ironically, many of the admins in Cornell are quite conservative, but they are forced to abandon their beliefs because of fear from lawsuits and the like.

Cornell University's speech code has been active for a while now. Among the atrocities of this thought police:

  • The entire staff of the Cornell Review, the sole conservative newspaper, was nearly sent to the Judicial Administrator for punishment for so-called "hate speech"

  • The Cornell listserv, a forum for anonymous debate, was shut down. Posters most show their names, "unacceptable" speech is subject to persecution by the Judicial Admin.

  • Selective gagging. A released checklist of "approved speech" included radical feminist and homosexual rhetoric, as well as Marxism, minority pride, and other liberal stances. "Prohibited speech" includes fundamental religious talk (oddly, Cornell prides itself on religious diversity and tolerance), any sort of white pride, and various conservative stances.

    For example, slandering the conservative candidate as a Nazi is fine, calling the liberal candidate a Nazi isn't. A true story, by the way.

  • Some colleges install so-called "free speech zones" where people can say whatever they want. Cornell doesn't even have that. Not that it matters, free speech should be constitutionally guaranteed.

  • Paranoid fingerpointing and witch-hunts. Anything even slightly resembling political incorrectness is investigated with a microscope, scapegoats revealed. The hapless victims? Conservatives.
Many colleges have their students watched by the thought police. A recent incident that garnered national attention in the University of Pennsylvania ended with the entire public turning against the administrapo and the speech code revoked. Unfortunately, that is just one college. The Supreme Court also struck down the University of Michigan's speech code as completely unconstitutional, but most colleges (such as Cornell) refuse to remove theirs, in fear of backlash from the liberal student body.

On the darker side, physical acts of violence against conservatives are also forgiven with a smile. But that's another story.

Speech codes are currently the source of much controversy in American universities. A speech code can be roughly defined as "a policy instituted by a college or university that limits or threatens to limit free expression on the part of students or members of the faculty." Descriptions of prohibited speech are often riddled with vague, imprecise vocabulary such as "offensive," "discriminatory," and "intimidating."

The most troubling problem that speech codes present is the ease of which people with certain viewpoints are silenced. Students at Colorado College who published a flyer satirizing feminism found themselves accused of disrupting the learning environment and suggesting violence. A Latin American Politics professor at Brandeis University found himself in trouble with the school's administration for criticizing (read: not condoning) the use of the derogatory term "wetbacks" to refer to migrant Mexican laborers. The president of Valerosa State University, Ronald M. Zaccari, expelled a student for protesting (on Facebook, no less) the controversial and expensive construction of a parking garage using student fees. Students producing a conservative newspaper at Tufts University were sent to a board trial for printing entirely true, albeit inflammatory, facts about the human rights violations condoned by some followers of Islam.

Another common tactic universities employ is to create "free speech areas," the only places on campus where students can enjoy their right to freedom of speech. More often than not these areas are incredibly small and require both an appointment and approval from the school's administration before actually allowing students to express their views.

An institute of higher learning can only educate its students in a meaningful way if all viewpoints are allowed to be expressed. Speech codes and similar tactics imposed by schools to limit the expression of their students are outrageous and undermine the very concept of a learning environment. The opinions of one person, no matter how reasonably they are presented, can be interpreted unreasonably by another party and the unreasonable party's interpretation is the one that speech codes will assume is justified. Such policies do not belong in any organization that aims to encourage the sharing of ideas.

case information obtained from www.thefire.org

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