Peralta Community College District's Only Student-Run Publication
Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Breaking: PCCD appoints former San Leandro police chief to Interim Executive Director of Public Safety
Breaking: PCCD appoints former San Leandro police chief to Interim Executive Director of Public Safety
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Li Khan, Editor in Chief • June 21, 2024
Carpentry instructor spruces up department
Carpentry instructor spruces up department
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Archives
A cap at the Laney College commencement ceremony on May 24 reads in Spanish, This is for my mom who gave me everything. (Photo: Marcus Creel/PCCD)
Graduations, resignations and more: PCCD Trustees wrap up school year at 5/28 meeting
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Student Trustee Natasha Masand believes her voice has the power to impact the PCCD community.
Student Trustee Natasha Masand finds her voice
Isabelly Sabô Barbosa, Social Media Editor • March 19, 2024
Archives

    Freedom of speech on campus

    The recent increase in demonstrations at universities at Yale by students demanding administrative actions against those who have written or spoken words and espoused ideas that they disagreed with is at best troubling at worst an intellectual takeover, for example, at Yale, the master of Silliman Residency Hall, Nicholas Christakis, and it’s associate master Erica Christakis had received complaints from students complaining about the heavy-handed approach by the administrators with regards to Halloween costumes.
    Erica Christakis sent out an email expressing concerns about the frustrations expressed by students and inviting students to engage in intellectual discourse “I don’t wish to trivialize genuine concerns about cultural and personal representations, and other challenges to our lived experience in a plural community, I know that many decent people have proposed guidelines on Halloween costumes from a spirit of avoiding hurt and offense. I laud those goals, in theory as most of us do. But in practice, I wonder if we should reflect more transparently, as a community, on the consequence of an institutional (which is to say: bureaucratic and administrative) exercise of implied control over college students.” If this was not due deference to her interlocutors, I don’t know what is. But for her troubles, a faction of the student population is trying to get her and her husband removed from their positions using administrative coercion.
    The students contend that acts of racism and racial prejudice such as the “blond white girls only frat party at Yale” have occurred on campus and has gone unanswered by administrators and this is proportional, it is the duty of the school authorities to make sure that students enjoy peace and quiet while at their institution and perhaps they have failed in this regard. 
    Therefore students have legitimate concerns about speech they consider offensive and they have the right to protest those speeches and engage in vigorous debate and repudiate that line of the thinking. The first amendment and the fight against racism are not at odds, essentially they complement each other. Is see no connection between Erica’s email as lending support to acts of racial prejudice nor while she could not be engaged in an intellectual duel to explain why her email was offensive by students.
    Fascism according to the Merriam-Webster’s dictionary is “a political philosophy, movement or regime that exalts a nation and often race above the individual and that stands for centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition.”
    Given these students have not undertaken a takeover of our republic nor are they exalting one race above another but there is cause to be alarmed. There exists a fair chance that those presently being educated at our institutions of higher learning will be the leaders of tomorrow, there is a good chance that the president of the united states, and members of congress, supreme court justices, C.E.O of fortune 500 companies, entrepreneurs, inventors and scientists will all have received a college education. If the seed of the ability to restrict speech considered offensive by a party is planted, it could germinate in society. If ever there was a clear case of the silent majority being silent this will be it. The vast majority of Americans disagree with these students if not their disquisition their methods but there have not publicly denunciated this silliness, there are sitting out the fight, failure to nip this at the bud, to engage and repudiate this folly will be utter intellectual capitulation. No one on earth is entitled to an intellectual safe space. Dissent is the bedrock of a free society, conflict the sweet nectar that fuels freedom.
    If you disagree with a person’s opinion you are entitled to try to refute those opinions but you are not entitled to restrict their speech or place undue burden on them. The answer to speech considered offensive is more speech and engagement in an intellectual duel. It is my utmost belief that Laney College and the administration should take a firm position on the side of the First Amendment, allowing Laney students the avenue to engage in free debate for the betterment of their persons.

    Oruruo Augustine is a Tower guest writer. Email him at Ebakaresources(at)gmail.com.

    About the Contributor
    In the fall of 2019, The Laney Tower rebranded as The Citizen and launched a new website. These stories were ported over from the old Laney Tower website, but byline metadata was lost in the port. However, many of these stories credit the authors in the text of the story. Some articles may also suffer from formatting issues. Future archival efforts may fix these issues.  
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