Scott Tibbs
Printed in the Indiana Daily Student, 08-31-2000

Back to opinion page.

Free speech ends at Sample Gates

To the editor:

Welcome to Bloomington, IU students! Welcome to the university environment, where the free exchange of ideas is the ultimate goal.

Welcome to IU, where a few months ago IU Students for Life was to be relegated to a low-traveled area of campus for its display of the Genocide Awareness Project, despite the fact that many other groups have protested right where IUSFL wanted to be.

Welcome to IU, where the Zeta Beta Tau fraternity was thrown off campus not for the laws it broke in a Fall 1997 scavenger hunt, but for the politically incorrect statements on the list of items the pledges were to get.

Welcome to IU, where in early 1997 the phantom student group known as "IN" was investigated by the Indiana University Thought Police for posting flyers that expressed disapproval of homosexuality.

Welcome to IU, where in 1994 several senators were forced to resign from the IU Student Association for mispronouncing the name of a local restaurant and generally being politically incorrect.

Well, maybe IU isn't a place for the free exchange of ideas, after all. In fact, it appears that the First Amendment ends at the Sample Gates. It seems to me that the answer to speech you find offensive is exercising your own First Amendment rights, but apparently the administration doesn't feel the same way.

If you choose to exercise your free speech rights here at IU, I hope you have a good Constitutional lawyer to fight for your rights.