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Student Take: TCU YAF Targeted for Hosting Allen West

Student Take: TCU YAF Targeted for Hosting Allen West

By

dkeck

April 25, 2016

tcuwest1This week at Texas Christian University, over 200 students, faculty, and staff heard from former United States Congressman and Lieutenant Colonel Allen West, as he shared his experiences and legitimate concerns about why the liberal policies of the past 8 years have shrunk the size of our military and made the world a more dangerous place. Hours later, the response from students through social media has created tension and demonstrated that some students, rather than take the opportunity to learn another viewpoint, would rather insult and demean those dedicated to promoting free speech on campus. While many were excited to hear from this American hero, many on the Left were quick to make every effort to cancel the event because they felt that Lt. Col. West was controversial for his past statements. Only hours after the event, responses on social media have done anything but ‘create dialogue,’ throwing insults at members of my organization and the principles we stand for. We have been called a “racist student group…that want to ban Muslims” and attacked for hosting a speaker who we feel represents the values and ideas we believe. Speakers on college campuses should not be silenced because they are defined as “controversial” by the Left, even if that means that someone feels offended. Colleges and universities are responsible for encouraging the marketplace of ideas which involves educating students from multiple perspectives. These student’s efforts to silence Young American’s for Freedom for their political ideology is not only a blatant disregard for free speech, but discourages students from thinking critically and deciding what they believe for themselves. While students have the right to confront Mr. West during Q&A, maybe they should have used that opportunity to challenge West’s remarks, rather than recite a prepared statement that was an inappropriate attempt to achieve an ulterior political motive. Perhaps students at TCU should be more focused on listening to different ideas and asking questions that challenge them to “think and act as ethical leaders and responsible citizens of the global community” as the TCU mission statement calls for. Though many students feel differently, TCU YAF was proud to host Congressman Allen West who has honorably served his country and defended the principles that TCU YAF and so many Americans hold close. Dillan Keck is the chairman of Young Americans for Freedom at Texas Christian University. 

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