Freedom of speech not equal at every college


I may be a little biased, but I think SVSU is one of the best universities out there, especially if you take into consideration location and price (especially price).

Recently, I have been talking with fellow college students from other universities, especially ones that are from religious or heavily conservative schools, and I realized that freedom of speech and expression are not always respected in the same way at other schools as they are here at SVSU. I’ve come to this conclusion based off of the fact that I’ve never felt punished in any way by SVSU because of my political, religious or any other type of view.

To be clearer, I’ve never thought of SVSU as a mostly liberal or mostly conservative university. I know that numerous clubs exist on campus, many more than I would even expect for how small our campus really is. We have a Republican and a Democratic club, a Christian club, an LGBTQ+ club and so many others that I am confident in saying that SVSU has a club or society for nearly every public or social interest that exists.

I’ve always felt comfortable when talking with professors, fellow students or administration because I knew my views would always be respected. I was shocked to realize that this was not the case at every university.

One student from a rather conservative school (as he put it) stated that their school newspaper is heavily censored, and they can’t print opinions that are at odds with conservative viewpoints.

To me, that was crazy. Where is the freedom of speech? Isn’t the entire purpose of college to challenge yourself and be exposed to viewpoints that are different from the ones you grew up with? I understand the fact that, for the most part, students can choose where they attend school, so, if you enroll in a university that is heavily religious, liberal, conservative, etc., then you may have to accept that way of thinking because that is what you signed up for.

But what if you didn’t know the school that you’ve committed to is extremely conservative, liberal or something else? What if that is the only school that has the major or program that you want to study?

I think there should be a kind of system that ensures public (stress on the word public) universities and colleges should have to stay balanced and not too extreme. I have always heard and had the personal opinion that college is for earning a broad education, not just four more years of the same information that your parents and high school teachers taught when you were younger and didn’t have a choice in what to learn.

College is for expanding your mind, both socially and academically. And if a college campus does not provide the adequate and responsible space for that type of learning, then how is it a well-rounded education?

So, I can say with complete confidence that, when I graduate this May and leave SVSU, I will be prouder of being an SVSU Cardinal than I ever have before.