Forced to give up your First Amendment rights in order to graduate? Tell Iowa State No!
Iowa State University is refusing to allow student Robert Dunn to graduate unless he signs away his right to free speech. You heard that correctly, a university is requiring its students to give up the ability to say what they believe in order to graduate.
Colleges and universities should be market places of ideas. Students must be free to think and speak as they see fit, not required to conform their thoughts, morality, and speech to align with the latest liberal dogma. Please join us in asking Iowa State University to change this policy and allow Dunn to graduate without abdicating his First Amendment Rights. This petition will also be sent to the Iowa State University Alumni Association.
Here’s what happened. Iowa State issued a new policy requiring all of their students to take a pledge that they would abide by and adhere to the university’s new speech policies. The policy stated that students “engaging in First Amendment protected speech activities” may constitute “harassment.”
Under the new policy students can be punished for exercising their First Amendment rights if other students thought their speech was “illegitimate,” “unnecessary” or “unconstructive.”
So essentially, students are only free to speak if their fellow students like and agree with what they are saying.
The whole purpose of the First Amendment is to protect the rights of minorities to speak when the majority disapproves. These school administrators are only silencing speech they disagree with—but it’s just those minority viewpoints that have the greatest protection in our Constitution!
Dunn has recently filed suit with Alliance Defending Freedom against Iowa State University. As his lawyer Casey Mattox stated, “No university policy can trump the First Amendment. Iowa State thinks it knows better than the First Amendment, making other student’s opinions about the value of a student’s speech, instead of the Constitution, the test for whether speech is protected.”
Let’s support this effort by putting pressure on the university to change this twisted policy.
A college campus, of all places, is supposed to be a marketplace of ideas. Please join us in asking Iowa State to be what it was intended to be—a place of freethinking and deep learning. A university that only permits a certain kind of thought is no university at all.