Editors advocate for free speech, open dialogue

In the past week, SMU has been under a firestorm from local and national media due to the insensitive and racist comments posted publicly and anonymously on various websites and forums.

We, as an editorial board, deplore these statements, as they do not reflect us as SMU students. We are proud members of this campus community, but are discouraged that the voices of few are being attributed as the opinion of the whole. As alumnus and former Editor-in-Chief, Rahfin Faruk said, “we should rise above the easy narrative.”

The SMU Campus Weekly is diverse in itself with staffers who are of different ethnicities, races, backgrounds, socioeconomic standings, countries and religions. We have members who are in Greek life and those who are not.

However, we do see and agree that SMU has room for improvement in terms of open dialogues and cross-organizational integration.

Moving forward, our main concern is the uncertainty of how the community as a whole will implement these ideas.

As an editorial board and as journalists, we are proponents of free speech where all views, even those in stark opposition to the majority, should be acknowledged. The crux of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution is based on the freedom of speech.

We fear that some of these discussions will lead to sanctioned speech on this campus in terms of sensitivity training and safe speech zones. Censorship is not the answer to this debate.

What will this say about us if we condemn speech? What will this say about us as leaders if we go against one of the basic principles that our nation has always stood for?

There is power in speech and power in discourse. Continue the conversation; support your community; stand behind your university.

Opinions expressed in each unassigned editorial represent a consensus decision of the editorial board. All other columns on this page reflect the views of individual authors and not necessarily those of the editorial staff.

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