During studies, students need to express their point of view and listen to others. This allows them to develop communication skills and critical thinking. In addition, it is necessary to receive information from different types of people and draw up one’s point of view on a particular issue. For this reason, college leaders sometimes invite speakers to various events. Hanlon states that “inviting quality speakers to share expertise and experience is an important part of the educational mission” (Hanlon). However, as practice shows, this is not always a good idea. Some speakers have a contradictory point of view, causing an adverse reaction from the audience. The purpose of this paper is to consider the pros and cons of inviting ambiguous speakers to campuses.
A variety of speakers and their points of view are necessary for students. This allows them to get heterogeneous information related to any issue. Thanks to this diversity, students learn to think critically, understand others, and make their own decisions. Even if they do not agree with the speaker, they can enter into a dispute and learn how to express and defend their points of view. In addition, the commonality of views on a particular issue allows students to build social ties, which is also a useful skill for adulthood.
On the other hand, there are frequent cases when the performance of ambiguous speakers led to chaos in educational institutions. Young people are not always able to restrain their reactions to what others say. This leads to the over-expression of emotions, quarrels, and sometimes even fights. Moreover, some speakers whose views are truly incorrect may affect students too much. Unfortunately, not everyone can critically evaluate different ideas. This affects the future lives of people and can push them in the wrong direction. However, Hirshman argues that “if any restriction of expression is necessary, a restriction should be as limited and narrow in scope as possible” (Hirshman). Thus, teachers and directors do not have to be severe to both speakers and listeners so as not to violate their rights.
In any case, the performance of speakers in educational institutions must comply with strict regulations. Even if speakers are controversial, they have the right to express their thoughts and ideas freely. Their listeners have the same right, having the opportunity to start a discussion. However, such communication should be polite, consistent, and reasoned. Researchers note that “the principle of freedom of speech means the right to express, publish and receive information, opinions and other communication without interference from any source” (Hallberg and Virkkunen, p. 1). Only this approach will allow people to discover the truth and come to a common opinion truly.
Young people must get as much information from different sources as they can. This is one of the few ways to learn how to evaluate it and choose the right ideas. This contributes to the development of social and communication skills that are necessary for a productive existence. However, institutions that are ready to invite ambiguous speakers should remember all participants’ rights in the event. Everyone should have the right to defend their point of view without harming other people freely. In other words, with proper organization, any event and any speaker can give students numerous useful things and push them towards social and intellectual development. The main thing is that everyone behaves responsibly, even if they do not agree with someone else’s point of view.
- Hallberg, Pekka and Janne Virkkunen. Freedom of Speech and Information in Global Perspective. Springer, 2017.
- Hanlon, Aaron R. “Why Colleges Have a Right to Reject Hateful Speakers Like Ann Coulter.” The New Republic, 2017. Web.
- Hirshman, Eliott. “Freedom of Speech on Campus is an Essential Part of College.” Huffpost, 2014. Web.