Speak up with ease

Pictured: Mac Pomeroy. Photo Courtesy of Mac Pomeroy

By Mac Pomeroy

The current actions that Youngstown State University is taking to cut majors and programs is extremely upsetting. There is no sugar-coating the topic — this is something that will greatly offset the lives of the students who took part in those programs, or were planning to.

All over social media, students are raising their voices, sharing petitions and posting their thoughts and opinions. This is so amazing to see: a student body standing up to an unfair decision made by the university.

I agree with those who object to cutting many of these programs. While I am unsure of a solution to offer the university, I do want to voice support for those who are fighting hard to save their programs.

To do this, I want to remind students that our voices are one of our most powerful tools right now.

According to the YSU freedom of speech policy, “Youngstown State University will not deny benefits or privileges available to a student or student organizations based on the viewpoint of a student or student organization or the expression of the viewpoint of a student or student organization by the student or student organization or its members protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States or state of Ohio.”

While the right to free speech does not excuse you of the societal consequences of your words, it does protect you from backlash from the university in cases of speaking up against unjust changes or policies. 

My teammates and I at the paper practice this policy every day, with the work we print and the videos we record. 

So, speak up without fear. Right now is an important time for student voices to rise up. Stand up for programs that matter to you, without the fear of backlash.