Letter to the editor

First Amendment still in place, even amid controversy

Dear Editor:

Fellow students and Kent State community members,

Perhaps the two strongest arguments for freedom of speech are the promotion of tolerance and the discovery of truth. At an institution such as Kent State, those important values are pivotal to our success.

Of course, what some view as truth can often be interpreted subjectively. This will naturally produce differences of opinions and inevitably conflict. These differences are usually embraced in a democratic society, because variety is what makes the United States so exceptional.

However, oftentimes arguments become personal and offensive. The debate surrounding abortion is frequently the example used to demonstrate this point. That debate is coming to Kent State on April 7 and 8 by an anti-abortion organization. Yet it is not simply a discussion over the issue; graphic genocide-like images will be accompanying the group. This imagery is likely to affect most of its observers on a profound level.

No matter how strongly you may feel about this issue, please keep in mind the bigger picture. That is that the First Amendment of the United States Constitution allows for peaceful demonstrations and the freedom of assembly. This amendment has enabled our country’s rapid progress and adaptation. It has promoted a culturally enriched society and the free flow of ideas and expression. Without it, where would important milestones in our country such as the civil rights movement have been? The First Amendment provides rights to American citizens that millions all over the world may never experience.

I hope our campus’ reactions to this demonstration reflect a tolerant, open-minded community that embraces diverse viewpoints for the sake of spreading knowledge, insight and awareness. It is admittedly difficult to do so when an issue such as this generates strong emotions, yet we can overcome feelings of discontent if we focus on the benefits of the liberty we enjoy.

Katie Hale

Executive director of Undergraduate Student Senate