Having been trained as an economist, I was always envious of the famous economists who had theories or maxims named after them.
As the national election approached several weeks ago, we saw a surge in mental health, mindfulness, and self-care resources, along with calls across social and traditional media sites to “take care of yourself!”
Like many public land-grant institutions, especially those in swing states, Colorado State University is a politically contested space. Nationwide, critiques of classroom speech come from both the left and the right, usually drawing on the importance of academic freedom and free speech.
The right to speak out, to protest, to make your voice heard to hopefully affect change, without government retribution. This is what we know the First Amendment is supposed to be about.
The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution contains only 45 words. Although brief in length, it is mighty in force. The rights and freedoms that arise from these words — religious freedom, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, the right to peaceably assemble, and the right to petition the government — are pillars of our democracy.
Free speech matters, but acknowledging an individual’s right to freedom of speech is not enough. In fact, I worry that that the way we discuss the First Amendment and free speech — by focusing primarily on people’s right to speak — does a disservice to universities like CSU, where we are poised to rigorously engage some of the most important questions confronting our nation.
Our students have never shied away from activism or issues, but activism looks and feels different at CSU Pueblo. When I interviewed for the Presidency in early 2017, members of our community mentioned to me that activism is not something CSU Pueblo does; activism is what this campus is.