Triggered Students Want to Censor ‘Coronavirus’ Theme Party

Robby Soave of Reason reported that some students at the State University of New York at Albany (SUNY-Albany) made a video post on Instagram that promoted a “coronavirus” themed party. The video had scenes of corona-beer-filled ice buckets and several attendees in surgical masks.

The video was then deleted.

Regardless of where one stood on the sensitivity of this event, the fact that the university stepped in to investigate the students who held this event is worrisome.

Trending: Foreign Policy Critic Daniel McAdams Gets Kicked off Twitter

Soave noted that other students have demanded that the university punish this “hate crime against Asian students and scholars.” Because the coronavirus originated in China and has mostly impacted Asian people, the party was perceived as using negative stereotypes against Asian people.

take our poll - story continues below

Should President Trump order mandatory quarantine to prevent the spread of the Wuhan virus?

  • Should President Trump order mandatory quarantine to prevent the spread of the Wuhan virus?

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Completing this poll grants you access to Liberty Conservative News updates free of charge. You may opt out at anytime. You also agree to this site's Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

The Asian American Alliance at SUNY-Albany also demanded that the administration investigate the students who posted the video and make them apologize for their insensitivity.

The administration put out a statement that described the party as “distasteful and hurtful.” The university also announced the launch of an investigation, and made it clear that any students who break the university’s code of conduct will face punishment.

Soave does a raise a compelling point:

But there’s nothing to investigate, sanction, or punish. SUNY-Albany is a public university, and as such, its students have the right throw dumb theme parties. Their expression is protected by the First Amendment, and the administration cannot take action against them, even if other students are offended by it.

Yes, universities market themselves as venues of free thought, despite mounting evidence that they have become hubs of PC thought control.

But when public institutions deprive students of their right to free speech, it becomes a question of constitutional infringements. If these are taxpayer-funded institutions, they must allow all speech.

“The act of hosting a party with a theme is itself expressive, and the First Amendment generally does not permit state actors—such as public universities—to make distinctions between whether expression is offensive or inoffensive,” declared Adam Steinbaugh of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education after coming to the defense of the event. “That’s why public officials, including those at public universities, cannot ban flag burningdrag shows, culturally appropriative Halloween costumes, and other expressive events that offend many other students, like an ‘ugly women’ contest.”

Indeed, people can be offended by certain speech or gatherings. In the same vein, the offended can speak up and criticize these actions as they please.

But to use their discontent and channel it through a taxpayer-funded institution is a blatant form of political censorship.

And it would be naïve to think that free speech shutdowns at universities will occur in isolation.

If history is a good indicator, they are steppingstones for even larger free speech infringements down the line.

You Might Like

Join the conversation!

We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, profanity, vulgarity, doxing, or discourteous behavior. If a comment is spam, instead of replying to it please hover over that comment, click the ∨ icon, and mark it as spam. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain fruitful conversation.