When discussing the possibility of increased restrictions on the rights of uninvited, non-college-affiliated speakers at Northern Kentucky University (NKU), Dean of Students Jeffrey Waple told student government officials, “[t]hat’s the problem with free speech, guys.” According to the The Northerner, an independent student newspaper at NKU, Waple was responding to concerns some students had expressed about the potentially offensive nature of others’ speech. The Northerner reports that Waple “said that, although that speech may be offensive to some listeners, the speaker is probably entitled to say it and the university cannot usually engage in censoring the content of a visitor’s speech.”
It would be wonderful if more public university administrators would acknowledge such a responsibility to regulate speech in a viewpoint-neutral way. Besides, students must realize that free speech is not a “problem” so much as an opportunity for dialogue, debate, and learning. Read the full article here.