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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    Student Freedoms VS University

    The case against the Guillermo Morales/ Assata Shakur Community and Student Center at City College has brought forth problems within the University system and rights students have within it. Being threatened with disciplinary action from administrators, the question of how much freedom students have arises. Also, are policies, which have been sanctioned, being upheld?

    According to the Academic Bill of Rights, the mission of the University system is to help the development of student’s in becoming creative and productive individuals within this ‘democratic’ society we live in. Students should be encouraged to take the knowledge given to them and explore different sides of the information. Learning and freedom is not a one-way street. One does not learn through accepting the first idea given. In order to develop true knowledge, it is necessary to question and challenge.

    The academic freedom we are entitled to is being compromised. As human beings, and students, we have the right to independence of thought and expression. This independence should not be taken away because administrators and faculty do not agree with views different from their own. The concept of enabling students to seek truth and being open to various challenges is something the University system should promote. Instead, there is the threat of being reprimanded for having an open and free mind.

    Many universities continue to set restrictions disabling access to student fees and campus resources. In effect, the impact of the university experience has diminished.

    Young adults are forced to walk around like robots – conforming to how administrators and faculty feel they should be. The few students striving for difference and a better way are continually threatened by the idea of their academic career being in jeopardy.

    The community of Colleges and Universities benefits from societies and organizations developed by these young adults. Cultural events, speakers, and debates are what encourage people to be innovative. Having the freedom to speak and act upon what you believe is what makes this society wonderful to be apart of. Why do they want to take that away? Is there such a thing as being too independent? If so, why not take our freedoms away once admitted? Giving student’s the opportunity to collectively make a difference, and taking that away the first sight of conflict makes me question the character of these individuals.

    Unfortunately, this issue extends far beyond student activities. Class participation, or discussion, only seems okay if you agree with what has been said. The message that you may think, only if you think my way, is a plague upon the student body. It is no wonder people leave these institutions under-prepared for the real world. This society is filled with people answering to higher authorities because we are taught not to think for ourselves.

    Administrators and faculty should be enforced to abide by the policies set forth according to the Academic Bill of Rights. Institutions of higher learning are shaping the minds of the future. Implementing codes of conduct and regulations that have nothing to do with the greater outcome of an education is pointless. The notion of student life being monitored, in and out of the class-room, has a negative impact on the entire educational system.

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