In the past, a minority or even a majority group who wished to protest an unpopular decision by the administration or America’s military actions abroad were forced to do so in what was called a “designated free speech area,” which at TCU was Frog Fountain.
How can any institution designate where a group of citizens can assemble peaceably and practice free speech?
Under the old demonstration guidelines, if you requested to hold a demonstration in front of the Moudy Building to protest something you found offensive in the Skiff, you would be told to go to Frog Fountain.
If you wanted to publicly object to world capitalism by picketing in front of the business school, you would be told to go to Frog Fountain.
Today, however, the liberties of students to demonstrate against what they believe to be wrong have been greatly expanded thanks to a decision by the administration to review the university’s demonstration guidelines.
Now, instead of being restricted to Frog Fountain, students can protest at multiple areas around campus, and all they have to do is reserve the area 48 hours ahead of time.
Universities throughout the country have fallen into the habit of restricting free speech on their campuses. Designated free speech areas have become all too common in places which 30 years ago were havens for demonstrations and freedom of expression.
The administration’s recent decision is an encouraging step to embrace an environment of free and flowing ideas. So speak up TCU, because now you can.