ASU is legally and morally bound by the First Amendment. However, ASU has been given a yellow light rating by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, which means that our school maintains a policy that could be used to punish speech protected by the First Amendment. ASU has unfortunately declared, “All advertising must avoid the promotion of excessive use of alcohol and must make reasonable effort to avoid demeaning, sexual or discriminatory portrayal of individuals or groups.” The prohibition of “demeaning…or discriminatory portrayal of individuals or groups,” in particular, is vague enough that it could be wielded subjectively against politically unpopular opinions. As a result, it has a chilling effect on what should be a community based around the free exchange of ideas. By encouraging the fullest discourse possible we can insure that the bad ideas will not merely be driven underground to fester, but will be brought to light through honest critical inquiry. If our ideas are valid, they will survive their critics. If not, we will be that much closer to the truth. Isn’t that what the academy is all about? ASU is so close to being rated as a leading school for free speech in the entire country. With just one revised policy, our school could be a bastion of free expression. Please, ASU administrators, make us proud.
I find it amusing that Rep. Ableser substantiated his use of “public” clean elections funds by pointing out that the money comes from people with “lead feet,” i.e. speeding ticket revenue. Then he goes on to criticize the Republicans for cutting funding for our local law enforcement. Maybe the good representative from District 17, and all the other “clean” candidates running this fall, could give all of their clean elections money back to the officers that write the speeding tickets and create the clean elections revenue stream. Problem solved.
Ed Stade IV