Ed De La Garza
Crystal J. Doucette
Better late than never
Even if it was a little late, Wednesday's
Freer Speech Coalition speak-out was a sign that UH students are actually
interested enough in a topic to express their opinions about it.
The event on Satellite Hill was held to
voice opposition to the tactics used in bringing a Justice for All abortion
exhibit to campus last month. The exhibit, which featured huge photographs
of aborted fetuses and information on the abortion process, drew its share
of protesters when it was set up in Butler Plaza.
It's interesting that the discussion over
the exhibit did not focus on whether abortion is right or wrong as much
as whether the display itself was appropriate. The Free Speech Coalition,
which worked with Justice for All to bring the display to UH, obviously
believed it had the right to sponsor an exhibit that showed the realities
of abortion. Those who opposed the exhibit believed there were better ways
to get the point across.
What it boils down to is an exercise of
freedom of speech. Are exhibits like that appropriate for college campuses?
Yes. Granted, they may be offensive, but considering the design and content
of the exhibit, that is clearly the goal. But people who don't believe
it was proper have the right to express their views as well -- as one speaker
at Wednesday's rally said, speaking in front of the Satellite doesn't have
the same impact a two-story-high series of color photos does, but it is
effective in its own way.
These are the types of discussions that
go on daily at colleges across the nation, and we wish there were more
of them here -- particularly about things that concern students directly.
For example, only a handful of students have shown up for forums held to
offer information on student fee increases in the past few years. Why?
These increases -- some of which are quite large -- will affect all of
us. It would seem students would want to know as much as possible about
an issue that takes a bite out of their pocketbooks.
By the same token, students rarely show
up at the Student Government Association meetings, where policy is set
that ostensibly affects the entire student population. Yes, a group of
students did regularly attend the meetings this semester, but it was no
coincidence that the one time President James Robertson Jr. wasn't there,
the audience wasn't, either.
The simple fact is that students cannot
complain about things happening on campus if they don't take the initiative
to make their voices heard.