Free Speech on College Campuses


  1. Introduction
  2. Supporting arguments for Speech Codes
  3. Counter arguments for Speech Codes
  4. Alternative Strategies to control Speech
  5. The First Amendment
  6. Conclusion


Hate speech is unrestricted or free expression towards an individual or a group due to their social status, ethnicity, sex, physical appearance or family background that is offensive, dehumanizing and breaches the victim’s peace which makes him or her unable to fit in the social environment. Hate speech may take many forms that are especially directed as a way of discrimination to a minority group of people which is so evident in college compasses and is accelerated by peer influence (Gould 13). The increasing occurrence of hate speech among students is common today in the institutions of higher learning in the United States and fosters prejudice which may trigger violence and even cause deaths. The effects of such statements are what matters since it is emotionally distressing to the victim targeted (Hoffman et al 73).  Therefore, many academic institutions have designed speech codes that are aimed at restricting usage of terms that are biased.

Speeches codes are administrative laws designed according to the institutional policies and are aimed at restricting free speech which is constitutionally acceptable by prohibiting certain behaviors. Some critics of speech codes points out that an individual has a freedom of expression in whichever way he or she opts for bearing in mind that he or she is legally protected by the constitution. The statutes help retain the right for individuals to express themselves freely but this has been abused by many students in compasses and therefore should be suppressed. Any form of speech as a mode of communication triggers both legal and ethical issues which cause a dilemma whether to be left free or be censored. The judicial system has generalized the form of speech that is considered hateful with freedom of speech being legally safeguarded by the First Amendment (Hoffman et al 76). Should unrestricted speech be allowed on college campuses? This paper will evaluate the pro and cons of enforcing speech codes in academic institutions in relation to legal and moral standards stipulated by the society. Speech codes in campuses safeguards against discriminatory harassment such as the use hate speech and ensure fair academic opportunities for every student, a reason why they should be allowed in college or university campuses.

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