Campus Speech Codes

November 13, 1998
Yesterday I talked about how universities disavow any responsibility to serve "in loco parentis" by standing in the place of parents. And while that is true for drinking, it isn't true for thinking. In other words, colleges say they shouldn't do anything to control alcoholic consumption, but they do establish speech codes to control what students think and say to each other.

Take MIT for an example. Yesterday we talked about the MIT student who drank himself to death. The university said it was not responsible. On the other hand, MIT and other colleges have various speech codes enforcing a type of politically correct thought and behavior. So the university takes no responsibility for students who lead others to drink themselves to death, but takes full responsibility to enforce what it calls "verbal conduct" that is offensive.

But that isn't all. The codes on campuses are enforced selectively. If a student says something that is perceived as racial harassment or sexual harassment, then he or she is punished. But if a students calls an evangelical Christian a "born-again bigot" or chants to Catholic students to "Keep your rosaries off my ovaries," that's has been deemed OK. In fact, one group of liberal students stole hundreds of copies of a college conservative groups newspapers and trashed their newspaper displays and weren't even reprimanded, much less punished.

Campuses today are full of contradictions. Students can attend class in a drunken stupor, experiment with drugs, sleep around, and the university says nothing. But just let one of those students say or write something that isn't politically correct, and the entire administration will swoop down upon them. This is the evidence of a college system that has lost its way. Its dropped many of its academic and moral standards, and put in their place a set of speech codes which are inconsistently enforced.

I'm Kerby Anderson of Probe Ministries, and that's my opinion.

© 1998 Probe Ministries International