A University of Miami official demanded that the campus College Republicans club take down a sign that read “I’m Pro-Choice. Choose A Gun” from a public display that the group had set up on campus, claiming that the sign violated university policy.
The Miami Hurricane student newspaper reported on the incident on Friday as part of a larger story on the current “debate” over free speech on campus, which in actuality seems like less of an actual debate and more demands from the Left that conservatives and Republicans should only be able to say things that the Left agrees with.
“I do feel like there is a time and a place,” said UM senior John Cuddihy. “That’s where I think maybe it was too much on a college campus…I think there’s a distinction between glorifying assault rifles and just being pro-gun in general.”
Too much speech for a college campus? This isn’t daycare, this is a university for crying out loud. As for any distinction between “glorifying” semi-automatic rifles and “just being pro-gun,” as far as the First Amendment is concerned, it’s a distinction without a difference.
Hefley said that while tabling, UMCR received a call from the Director of the Student Center Complex saying that their sign violated university policy.
“I’m very confused because it’s just pictures promoting the Second Amendment,” he said.
Other students, including junior Nathaly Gonzalez, were adamant that UMCR was intentionally instigating public discord.
“They are purposefully making the campus an uncomfortable place to exist,” Gonzalez said.
How exactly are they doing that? By sitting at a table with signs that express political points of view that are different than yours? Frankly, if that makes you uncomfortable, that’s a good thing. College is supposed to be a place where you are exposed to new ideas and thoughts. You don’t have to agree with all or any of them, but if you’re only hearing things you already agree with, you’re doing college (and life) wrong.
As a private institution, the University of Miami can establish whatever speech code it wants, but just because they can coddle the minds of students doesn’t mean that they should. Nathaly Gonzalez says, in essence, that College Republicans should shut up because what they say makes her uncomfortable. Don’t you think they could say the same thing about her political opinions?
The controversy over the pro-2A signage is just the latest in a series of recent attempts to target conservative speech on the campus. A Trump sign was recently vandalized on campus, and some students are demanding a ban on banners or signs for political candidates entirely.
Student Sen. Randy Fitzgerald advocated for the rights of student organizations to display partisan banners on campus during the senate meeting.
“I don’t believe Student Government should be in the business of commenting as an organization on major parties’ nominees to the extent that we should attack the president of the United States, and consequently, our colleagues on this campus who support him as ‘racist, homophobic, and bigoted’,” Fitzgerald said.
For the moment, Fitzgerald’s view seems to have prevailed, and there are both Biden and Trump banners outside of the campus bookstore that put up by the College Democrats and College Republicans. The attempts to curtail conservative speech continue, however, and the “pro-choice, choose a gun” sign, remains tucked away out of sight instead of on display near the university’s Student Center.