Learning Inside the Classroom and Out

Over 800 college students from around the country have been arrested during protests of the conflict between Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran, and Israel. How should universities balance the right to free speech with the institutional need to avoid interruptions to instructional time? What out-of-class, on campus opportunities for debate best serve educational needs?

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8 Responses to Learning Inside the Classroom and Out

  1. Carter Scaggs says:

    Universities have always been breeding grounds for protestors, a notable example being the opposition to the Vietnam War. I think that students should be free to express their displeasure with the current political state of the world and that universities should not interfere. For opportunities, perhaps universities can allow for panels or scheduled protests to be held.

  2. Avary Bodmer says:

    Universities job is to provide opportunities, but they also need to keep the money rolling in. Keeping protesting off campus is smart but also going them the chance to organize the event would help students and their free voice. I see certain colleges joining in with students in protest about situations like these so by including themselves if they agree with a certain cause. We have clubs advocating for certain ideals so a safe protest should not be an issue if students decide to do so safely.

  3. Jennifer Bui says:

    Students have the right to express their feelings, especially since they fund the school. However, it is their responsibility to decide whether or not to attend classes. Nevertheless, when students feel like their voices are not being heard, interruptions during instructional time are inevitable. To prevent protests, students need to feel heard and their opinions should be openly heard without being silenced. Therefore, providing a safe platform for students to express their feelings is crucial.

  4. Gracyn Young says:

    Honestly, I don’t know how universities should correctly approach this because of how fine the line runs. While students have the freedom to speak about what they are passionate about (and universities should encourage this), the university needs to prioritize safety, and of course the other way around. I agree with what others say about allowing students to feel heard to limit the extent of the protests, however, in some cases, the university doesn’t have much to do with the actual issue at hand and therefore can’t correctly address the student’s concerns. I also agree with what someone said about scheduled protests, that way students can voice their issues, but the university can keep it contained to an extent.

  5. Alexis Allen says:

    Universities have a variety of students with different opinions, making it inevitable for there to be some form of protest. Colleges should respect that their students are putting in effort for their voices to be heard, but there should be some limitations. Students who attend certain colleges should understand that it is not acceptable to have outbursts during class. If they have a problem with something they should reach out to the teacher, and have a civil conversation about it. Students should respect their classmates enough and not be loud and disrespectful during class, especially since they are there to learn. Protests can be a good thing, as long as they are controlled. It can be acceptable outside of class, as long as they are not blocking people from getting somewhere important. At the end of the day, weather you agree with something or not, others have their own opinions and should not be restricted unless it is genuinely illegal

  6. Julian W. says:

    Public universities have historically been hot-spots of political actions. Many times, universities are not only about learning in a classroom, but also being connected to communities. Consequently, when students encounter issues that must be confronted, they gather in centers that they know, on campus.
    Many of the protests occurring now on campuses are peaceful encampments, though more than 300 students have been arrested or expelled from their universities. It seems that universities would rather deal with PR backlash than conscientious students who commit political action. These students are paying to live at and attend these institutions, and yet for questioning the spending habits of their universities and for gathering in solidarity with victims of genocide, they are expelled from school.
    Students should talk to their peers out-of-class to gain a mutual understanding and community. Universities should not invite armed police officers to hurt peaceful protests and encampments.which are arguably doing more harm to the learning environment.

  7. Manpreet Singh says:

    Institutions of higher learning are enriched by the diversity of their students, but this can sometimes lead to protests or other forms of public expression. While universities should respect the rights of their students to express themselves, it is equally important to establish boundaries and limitations. Disruptive behavior during class is unacceptable, and students should engage in respectful discourse with their peers and instructors. Organized protests should balance freedom of expression with public safety, as blocking access to buildings or pathways is not acceptable. Encouraging dialogue and mutual respect can help students develop critical thinking and understanding of complex issues while ensuring a conducive learning environment.

  8. priscilla garcia says:

    No matter what, protests are going to occur in the academic setting, but there is a way to minimize them. Students need an outlet, a place where they can openly support their beliefs and share their thoughts on issues that are currently picking at their minds. In order to minimize political conflicts, schools should hold seminars and express allyship in certain debates. This, however, should be done outside of school hours so that people who wouldn’t care to participate didn’t have to.

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