I’m sure many students have heard the anti-war protesting of one student around campus this week and last. Whether everyone agrees with what this student has to say, or not, I think we should take a minute and applaud someone who is willing to openly express his opinions to others and do so without fear.
Of all places where opinions should be expressed, a college campus is the most appropriate. This is a place where our minds should be challenged and our thoughts should be surging, and politics is the perfect avenue to think critically and form an opinion.
The protesting student has had many students support him, and many others who were angered by him. I think it’s great both ways. Support means that he is speaking things that others feel. He’s expressing an opinion others might be scared to admit they have.
Anger means that your beliefs are being challenged. If no one ever disagreed with you, you would never feel strongly about anything. And if you do feel strongly about your beliefs, what do you need to defend?
I noticed one student making violent threats to the protester. The beauty of America is that we can disagree with each other, and it benefits us. The First Amendment allows us to have these disagreements, but they should be peaceful. If you disagree with him, stand up on the bench next to him and challenge that opinion in a non-threatening way.
He has seen some resistance too. Monday night he was yelling and playing music in front of the Ochiatto University Center and was approached by a deputy sherriff who asked him to leave because he was in a non-free speech zone.
The deputy sherriff later came back and told him he could stay there as long as he kept the volume down.
If we have free speech zones on our campus, we should all want to know where they are, because no matter what you have to say, you should be able to say it, like the First Amendment promises.
We need to applaud someone who has so much passion for an issue that they feel they need to shout it. I wish we would all have this kind of passion for something and I wish there would be 50 students yelling their beliefs across campus.