- The Washington Times - Friday, November 20, 2015

The student government at Ashland University in Ohio unanimously passed a resolution this week declaring support for the First Amendment in the wake of efforts by student demonstrators across the country to limit free speech.

“I was seeing a trend of colleges across the country having protests where free speech was under attack,” student senator Josh Frey, who introduced the resolution on Tuesday, told Campus Reform. “And we thought, as college students, that there weren’t a lot of people coming to defend free speech among students.”

The resolution states that true education is impossible without an environment where the free exchange of ideas can flourish, and it insists that the truth can only prevail in an environment of free thinking individuals.

SEE ALSO: Smith College protesters ban reporters who don’t ‘articulate their solidarity’

In supporting their argument, the students cite two quotations from Thomas Jefferson’s bill establishing religious freedom in Virginia.

Students at Yale University, University of Missouri, Ithaca College, Claremont McKenna College, Dartmouth College and others have been attempting to restrain free minds by repressing the right to free speech, the document claims.

“Whereas the actions of those students protesting at these institutions are promoting the belief that the way to combat controversial ideas is through force and restraint, not through reason,” it continues. “Therefore be it resolved that the students of Ashland University reaffirm the University’s commitment to the pursuit of Truth through free inquiry and the free exchange of ideas, and; Be it further resolved that this commitment extends especially to ideas of great controversy.”

The students then denounced those in the faculty and administration who have failed to stand for the U.S. Constitution at those protesting schools.

There were no votes against the resolution and only three abstentions in the full 37-member student senate, Mr. Frey told Campus Reform.

“Thankfully, we’ve not had these kinds of protests, and free speech is welcomed and encouraged at our university,” he said. “We wanted to basically say that not all colleges are like the ones with the protests, and that Ashland is one of those institutions.”

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2020 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide