Jake Summerhays is a senior at Columbia University, where he is a member of the varsity baseball team. Prior to attending college, he spent two years volunteering with his church in Chile. On his belief in individual rights and his decision to come to FIRE, Jake writes:
Until I began looking for an internship I had never heard of FIRE. As I was searching through my school’s Center for Career Education website, I saw an announcement for the position. Being a political science major, and extremely interested in law, I decided to do a little more research on the organization. Though issues of free speech have been very prevalent at Columbia during my time there, I had no idea of the magnitude of the problem of free speech repression throughout the nation.
I have always felt that I would be happiest in a career where I could be proud of what I do. I want to be able to go home at night and be able to get a good night’s sleep. An internship at FIRE has provided me with a glimpse of what that will be like. Colleges and universities should be a place where students are able to learn and express ideas, even if those ideas are offensive to others. These are not only ideas and values which our Constitution protects, but something that I personally believe in.