Free Speech on Campus
Democracy offers various forms of freedom and rights to citizens. Freedom of speech is one of the many privileges provided to citizens. Different countries have different ways of protecting this freedom to ensure that its citizens enjoy it appropriately and governmental organs do not infringe it. According to FIRE, a speech code is any policy or regulation given by the university that prohibits expressions that would be protected by the amendments in the society. University students are, however, found to make hate speeches that prompt institution of rules and regulations governing the conduct of pupils both in school, as well as online communication.
- Firstly, there is the harassment policy: this refers to the policies governing the harassment of students by their comrade. I would ensure that students conduct both online and offline communications in a manner that does not harass others. Any harassment is detrimental to the affected group since they will feel degraded (Feinberg, 1973, p. 120). This policy will ensure that students take care of the words they use and the kind of language used in various contexts. The harassment policy spells out what is regarded as an assault or harassment to an individual. The content and viewpoints of speeches given by students will be governed to ensure that all the communication provided online does not in any way allude to harassment.
- Secondly, protest and demonstration system governs the utterances given by students during demonstrations. The protest and demonstration system ensures that the content of the communication given by students during demonstrations does not amount to hate speech. It considers the temperament of students during this stage but does not guarantee any form of hate speech during the same. Students will, therefore, scrutinize their online expressions during protests to ensure that it does not overlap to become hate speech. This policy limits protests and demonstrations and requires students to obtain permission in advance to demonstrate on campus. It however gives room for lawful protests (Rieff, 1990, p. 126).
- Thirdly, there is the policy against discriminative language. Discrimination along the racial line, regional line, the gender line among other lines has been a growing problem for an uncertain future in the universities. The effectiveness of this policy is, however, dependent on how society interprets the harm of discriminatory remarks on people. It champions for a just and balanced individual rights among students within the university. Human rights are universal (Rieff, 1990, p. 122). This policy will ensure that online communication by students are perfect all round and does not in any way discriminate against anyone.
- Fourthly, there is the policy on harmful stigmatization and humiliation. Conflict always arises from stigmatization. Words of hatred are amplified if they are originated from those who are in power and are abridged when given by the powerless (Hentoff, 1991, p. 31). This policy regulates the overt subjugation that intensifies the verbal attack from those institutional fears. This system will ensure that not a single student suffering from anybody defect or any other form of disability, as well as other differences, are neither stigmatized nor humiliated.
- Lastly, IT acceptance use policy accepts the use of technology in communication. The information technology is a platform that propagates online communication (Grey, 1991, p. 99). The communication via this plant form can be offensive in language or have disparaging remarks. It, therefore, stresses on neutrality of the content. The regulation ensures that this communication is carefully monitored so as, not to cause any form of controversy and spark of conflict. University students must be informed fully about this policy and its scope in order to avoid any kind of hate speech.
If these rules are applied to the letter by universities, significant voices of criticism and violence caused by unnecessary hate speeches by college students would easily be avoided. It will also instill unity and harmony among students since the rules foster respect among students who will in turn feel free from discomfort, offense, and embarrassment. These codes will establish a productive and conducive environment for learning. Damages and destruction of property owned by the institution as a result of protests arising from hate speeches will be a gone case. These codes encourage an artificial reality on campus that prevents from learning effectively to tolerate diversity.