Are the Rights to Party and Freedom of Speech at Odds at UC Santa Barbara?

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Fear and worry — my first two emotions when my son texted me Saturday night at 10:30 p.m.

He goes to University of California, Santa Barbara and was in the midst of Deltopia — a party turned riot. He said there were helicopters overhead, tear gas, and kids throwing bricks and liquor bottles.

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There’s been national news coverage of the event, and the campus paper also offers detailed coverage.

My third emotion was anger after I read an open letter from a student in defense of Deltopia.

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The student wrote the letter anonymously and said that students are “entitled to blow off steam” and “rage.” Really? ENTITLED? Am I forking over $120,000 plus in big bills for a “right to party?” Thank goodness it wasn’t my son that wrote that letter! I’d disown him. Plus, it’s poorly written. I expect more from my son.

A few weeks ago, I wrote about another national-attention grabbing UCSB story in “Is Freedom of Speech Dead on America’s Campuses?” A feminist studies professor, Mireille Miller-Young, destroyed the poster of a young pro-life advocate and accosted her. Miller-Young pleaded not-guilty to charges of theft from a person, battery and vandalism.

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There’s a petition at UCSB supporting Miller-Young and asking to censor anyone from handing out sensitive material on campus — because it may trigger uncomfortable feelings.

Here’s a quote from the petition:
“We also put pressure on administration and the Office of Student Life to reevaluate rules and regulations that allow outside community members to so heavily trigger and target students and faculty on this campus.”

Are you kidding me? The same students asking to remove freedom of speech from campus are now demanding their right to party!  Students don’t want to feel uncomfortable by a pro-life poster, but, it’s fine and dandy to drink and party at an event that ends with bricks and liquor bottles thrown at police? Has the world turned upside down at UCSB?

Fortunately, there are moments of sanity. I discovered a letter in the Daily Nexus from a student with concern about how their degree from UCSB can be harmed by the party school rep. Also, my son went to a town hall meeting with the administration and he offered a solution. He said administrators, professors and students are actively pursuing ideas to make UCSB a safe, sane place to pursue excellence in education.

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Do you find it odd that students demand the right to party? But don’t want free speech on campus? Let me know.

 

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