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Should the First Amendment apply to College Campuses?

Colleges simply don't need it

They do, it encourages debate

 Getty: Brian Blanco / Stringer

The First Amendment is not always productive in furthering universities’ first and foremost goal, which is providing a high-quality learning experience, argues Robert C. Post of Vox. Freedom of speech is a pillar of any democratic society, ensuring that unpopular opinions aren’t suppressed. However, college campuses have a duty to separate good ideas from bad ones so that their students get the best possible education. For example, no professor or guest speaker should have the right to shout insults at students. Certain arguments simply don’t further learning. Universities are right to choose which ideas to spread, and which not to.

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Too many college campuses are currently ruled by politically correct guidelines that limit students’ basic right to self-expression, asserts Mark Pulliam of The American Spectator. The First Amendment should be respected at colleges, as it guarantees the equality of all opinions and prevents the stifling of unpopular ideas. Universities have decided that protecting their students from ‘hate speech’ or uncomfortable arguments furthers education. This is widely incorrect as it encourages uniformity in thought, rather than furthering intelligent discourse. Promoting diversity is best achieved by encouraging not stifling varied ideas and opinions.

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