Free speech is the basis for learning

Daily Editorial Board

On Wednesday, the student group Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) will hold a protest against the conservative organization Students for a Conservative Voice.
 
 
SDS is opposing an event titled “CALM DOWN!! Restoring Common Sense to Feminism.”  Students for a Conservative Voice has invited Milo Yiannopoulos, a writer known for his views against feminism and many social justice issues, and Christina Hoff Sommers, an author known for her positions against common tenets of feminism, to speak at the event. 
 
 
As indicated by a critically received Facebook event page, SDS is demanding that the University of Minnesota “not fund hate speech” on campus. By implication, they think the school should defund Students for a Conservative Voice. 
 
 
The United States Constitution guarantees the right to peaceful protest, and we do not call for SDS to stop their demonstration. However, we believe that asserting the University should prevent Students for a Conservative Voice from existing by stripping it of funding violates important liberties. 
 
 
Stifling opposing views and speech is not a policy we expect from a student group that claims to support democratic values. Nor should the University uphold SDS’s demands.
 
 
Rather, we call for the University to treat Students for a Conservative Voice like any other student group. An ideological disagreement does not mean the organization has no right to exist. 
 
 
We also call for SDS to make their demands more meaningful and substantive in a fashion that generates intelligent debate rather than merely suppressing perspectives that seem to threaten their interests.