Students across the country are being sent to Colleges and Universities in order to find a home and a community of like-minded individuals who they can grow and learn with. With that comes a lot of diverse communities that some may not agree with but are ALWAYS welcome on campus, such as the LGBTQ+ community. Whether you agree with the LGBTQ+ community or not, they come to college just like the rest of us looking for a place to call home and find acceptance.
When it comes to freedom of speech on college campuses, we should embrace the fact that there is a place where students can voice their opinions and be allowed to expresses their issues allowed and have people to listen and respond to them.
It is very welcomed on college campuses around the country, including my own. At my university, we have a designated space where anyone can go and freely speak on whatever issue or topic of there choosing and no one can stop them. It is a great idea and students choose to use this space for multiple different things. People who live in a community where my university resides are also welcome to use this space for the same purposes. People will use this space to preach or discuss various controversial topics. While anyone in this community is allowed to freely speak on whatever they like, harm to any person is not allowed or accepted in any way.
In light of recent events at my university, a group of men came to this public speaking area on my universities campus and spoke about how people of the LGBTQ+ community were going to hell and homosexual relationships were wrong. The group of men held up various signs that included harmful words that to anyone a part of the LGBTQ+ community would find very harmful.
While people might not be physically harmed by these men's presence on campus; the emotional harm this puts people through is enough to know that this was wrong.
My University works hard to be inclusive, especially with its LGBTQ+ community. We have such a large LGBTQ+ community and these men knew it when they came. They knew they would harm the emotions of MANY colleges students that day and that was their goal.
Freedom of speech is VITAL on any college campus but when it comes to criticizing and degrading an entire community that has such a large role on our campus, something needs to happen to ensure these things don't happen again. Whether at my own university or at others around the country, emotional harm and making feel unwelcome on their own campus is NOT okay.