By Herb Scribner at Deseret News
While many colleges understand the importance of free speech, they oftentimes run into problems deciding how to allow such events in a way that is productive, according to an article by Eric Schulzke in Deseret National.
The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, a First Amendment watchdog group, believes 58 percent of about 400 campuses in the American college system are unfairly restricting a student’s right to speak freely about important issues in public.
As a result, we decided to take a look at five wacky and unusual protests that have stood out throughout the years to give you a better idea of how and what some students are voicing their concerns about.
Here are some of the most interesting:
University of Utah — 2014
The tuition is too darn high! Luq Mughal of the University of Utah decided to go on a one-man protest against the rising price of college — by paying for all of his tuition with $1 bills.
“I had to pull some serious strings to even get everything to pay for my tuition this semester, and I wanted it to feel worthwhile,” Mughal, 21, told the Daily Utah Chronicle. “I decided that I would feel a little better if I did it like that.”
University of St. Thomas — 2014
No animals allowed. Some students at the University of St. Thomas stated their outrage on Facebook when the college brought a camel to campus for Hump Day.
“We do not need to be spending our money on events like this, especially in light of tuition increases,” the protest’s Facebook page said, according to Breitbart. “Can we not have community events without abusing an animal with no agency?”
Wellesley College — 2014
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Some students as Wellesley College protested against a campus sculpture of a naked sleepwalker standing out in the snow. Many believed the work of art was too graphic for students to see on a daily basis.
“I honestly didn’t even want to get too close to him,” Wellesley student Laura Mayron said, according to The Independent. “It’s odd.”
Northampton Community College — 2014
Don’t mess with spring break. Some students at Northampton Community College attended class in flip-flops, swimsuits and sleeveless shirts after learning that the college had cancelled their warm-weather vacation.
“Most of the campus is looking at us like we’re nuts,” said student John Cronce.
Grand Valley State University — 2013
What would Miley say? At Grand Valley State University in Mississippi, students protested after a sculpture similar to the wrecking ball seen in Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball” music video was removed from campus because of safety concerns. Students gathered, held up their cell phones and began singing the lyrics to Cyrus’ song to voice their concerns.
“It’s just college kids having fun,” Rya Northrop, senior, said to Michigan Live before the gathering. “It’s funny. I think it’s hilarious.”