Yesterday, the University of Richmond earned the unfortunate distinction of playing host to FIRE’s February Speech Code of the Month with its Standards of Student Conduct policy, which bans “inappropriate behavior or expression.” A private institution, the University of Richmond promises to promote academic freedom and expression—but its speech code shows the university does not live up to its commitment.
Thankfully, unlike her school’s administration, Richmond student Gigi DeJoy does understand the value of free expression. In an op-ed published today in her campus paper, The Collegian, DeJoy says that it is student expression that makes a school unique, not the beauty of its campus, and that without free speech her education at Richmond is lacking:
This might not matter to everybody, but a main reason that many students choose a liberal arts college is for an expectation associated with that title: That they will be exposed to new ideas, have their convictions challenged, and have the resources to share their own beliefs. Students need the space and rights for this to happen fluidly, naturally and without hierarchy or censorship
DeJoy says it’s time for a “little less sterility and a little more free expression” on Richmond’s campus. That’s true—and in that, the University of Richmond is hardly alone.
Check out DeJoy’s great article in The Collegian!
Image: “Boatwright Library, The University of Richmond.” – Panoramio user sedgwick