Are Free Speech Zones Constitutional?

Brooke Saaty, Copy Editor

If someone told you that you could pick any number in existence, but then punished you for not picking the number two, would you consider that fair? After all, if someone makes you a promise, shouldn’t they at least try to keep it? That is the same situation that Americans all over the nation are being faced with. The first amendment of the United States Constitution promises all US citizens the freedom of speech. However, today, some people are trying to silence anyone with a viewpoint that contradicts their own.

One example of this crisis is the creation of free speech zones. That is when an organization, often a university, limits the space where students can speak their minds to one or two small areas. This tragedy is widespread and includes several places in California. California State University in Los Angeles, California State University Channel Islands in Camarillo, California University in San Marcos and California State University Dominguez Hills in Carson. These universities are just a small fraction of schools that have erected free speech zones.

The Constitution does not state that free speech can only take place in only certain places. Rather it gives US citizens the right to speak their minds no matter where they are and no matter who doesn’t agree with them. So, technically the entire United States, including the whole campus of universities, is a giant free speech zone. The fact that colleges are trying to take away the rights of citizens is more than concerning. It’s completely wrong.

There is only one constitutional exception to freedom of speech: if what is being said represents a direct threat to national security. However, that is not the case on these campuses. Freedom of speech zones are simply a case of people trying to silence those with views that contradict their own. There is absolutely no benefit from them. They go against everything that the United States stands for, and they need to be stopped. We cannot allow people’s views to continue to be silenced.