Do you have the right to not be offended?

September 26, 2005

In many schools, speech codes and guidelines are written and enforced with the intention of protecting the general student body. Often, these codes are accepted with little to no opposition from faculty members or students.

However, according to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education or FIRE, many rules attempting to regulate speech in colleges and universities, including UAlbany, violate the First Amendment.

According to Samantha Harris, an attorney from FIRE, most universities tend to act “in loco parentis,” meaning they attempt to fulfill the role of parents on campus. “This approach is problematic because it limits a student’s right to voice their opinion;” said Harris. “Speech Codes violate student rights because they are overbroad as well as vague...