By Kylie Holman, Contributor
“Find salvation through Jesus: Churches are a joke.”
Some of you may have seen this phrase outside of the Milo Bail Student Center, written upon the largest homemade sign I have ever seen. Though the owner of this sign was trying to save our souls, most students probably saw this as an unanticipated speed bump on their morning commute. However as I turned up my iPod and dodged the ever-persistent flyer pushers, I couldn’t help but wonder if they were even allowed to be there.
What people say in public forums can not be censored based on content if it is protected by the First Amendment. What people say in nonpublic forums can be censored based on content, but not viewpoint. Technically, though public schools and universities are usually “nonpublic forums,” that area is considered a “public forum,” as it is a sidewalk. Forumception.
Yet even in a public forum, restrictions can be placed around expression which interferes with the area’s normal activity.
A college campus at noon is a hectic scene. Students and faculty are hustling to lunch and class without a second to spare. If you’re trying to get to calculus, the last thing you need is a sermon and seven fliers about the path to salvation. This disrupts the natural flow of the campus at its busiest time of day. Is this sufficient cause to ban on-campus activism?
Though this is America, where the First Amendment reigns supreme (as it should), I believe that a walk through campus should be a friendly environment free from harassment, no matter how well-intentioned.
I’m all for free speech and the right to assemble and all that jazz, but I don’t think anyone should be able to say anything, anytime and anywhere they please. I appreciate the concern for my personal relationship with Jesus, but I think I can manage the walk to class without facing eternal damnation.