Based on a report from Red Alert Politics, a man and a Young Americans for Liberty activist were stopped from praying by an administrator at the publicly-funded Clemson University. The administrator, Shawn Jones, demanded that the two fill out paperwork before they continued.
The administrator noted that the area was “not a designated free speech area.” The YAF member, Kyra Palange, further inquired, asking the administrator, “by that, you mean there are free speech areas on campus and that the entire campus is not a free speech area?” Jones responded, “that is correct.”
As a government-funded university, Clemson is subject to the restraints of the First Amendment. Therefore, it generally may not prohibit protected speech or enact prior restraints like these application processes. However, in recent years, universities have become infamous for enacting “free speech zones,” leaving only particular areas open for students to speak their minds. This has only been exacerbated by the rise of “safe spaces” and the PC culture.
Clemson is just the latest university to err on the side of authoritarianism. Hopefully, more universities choose liberty over tyranny in the First Amendment arena so that not only can students articulate their views, but their classmates can also hear different perspectives.
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