As an Iranian American, I have seen the benefit of freedom and the obstruction caused by oppression. I come from a country where basic rights are not only ignored, but are further suppressed through female dress code and various other arbitrary mandates. Living in America, I have seen no such injustice. Which is why, that when I hear there are places in the United States where some rights are not recognized. I feel troubled, and as if such institutions threaten the sanctity of our principals and ideologies. Therefore, I believe that the freedoms granted to us by the constitution should be universal and sanctioned by all entities within our borders.
It is my view that institutions which do not respect each student’s basic constitutional rights may greatly hinder the education being pursued. For instance, a law student may find interest in campus rules but avoid debate or even examination of such rules, due to the threat of repercussion for doing so. Or perhaps, a student journalist may editorialize or avoid reporting on occurrences which portray the administration negatively.
These examples represent students all across the country, who strive to achieve academic excellence by the means allotted to them. There is no question that students require full discretion to practice their newly learned skills. Practice that they hope will one day yield expertise in the field of their study.
Recognition of individual rights is quintessential for academic integrity and progression to flourish. However, campuses across the country do not feel that such respect is warranted. For instance, Valdosta State University in Georgia attempted to muzzle student activist Hayden Barnes for his opposition of a forty million dollar parking garage. Mr. Barnes attempted to raise discussion by printing fliers depicting alternate uses of forty million dollars. Taking into consideration, the forty million dollars was to be a debt paid by mandatory student fees. Be that as it may, the university did not see the actions of Mr. Barnes as permissible. And later expelled him for a collage he made that portrayed the university president, who was directly involved in the parking project, as prideful.
But what happened at Valdosta State University did not amount to the administrative overreach which took place at the University of Delaware. Campus RAs subjected students to what was to be a clear attack on privacy and individual dignity. Those living in dormitories were to attend an orientation where they were asked invasive and unlawful questions regarding sexuality and other very personal topics. Following the evaluation, students were separated; the so called politically correct on one side of the room and the supposed intolerant on the other.
This assault on individual thought was arranged in order to segregate and shame students who did not conform to the university’s view on tolerance. But what credit does a university have to decide what views are right and wrong? Students...