#onuchapel censorship a violation of rights

By Grace King

The #onuchapel hashtag will be forever known for its touching God moments that reach deep into our souls as well as it’s rude hilarity that makes us literally laugh out loud during the “dryer” chapel services. May it rest in peace.

Ending soon, not only will chapel wifi no longer be available, but #onuchapel will be censored for explicit, rude, inappropriate, or just plain sassy tweets.

As a regular reader, fan, and occasional #onuchapel user, I am appalled at the administration’s decision to censor our beloved Twitter entertainment. Twitter is a public forum. Where’s the freedom of speech here? Are we going to stand idle while our First Amendment rights are slowly stripped from us? I say no!

According to Cornell University Law School’s Legal Information Institute webpage, “The most basic component of freedom of expression is the right of freedom of speech. The right to freedom of speech allows individuals to express themselves without interference or constraint by the government.” In the past, the Supreme Court has recognized that the government may prohibit speech that could cause unrest or violence for the protection of citizens.

We have a right to post our ideas, thoughts, opinions, and even snarky comments. Although there are past circumstances where these comments may have been said in bad taste (Gospel Choir incident, anyone?), the whole should not be punished for the few. While it is reasonable to censor at a government level to avoid World War III, I don’t see how an innocent #onuchapel tweet is going to disrupt the overall peace of our Olivet bubble.

Even College Church UC uses Twitter during their services. During our Winter Revival, #revival2014 was trending on the screen before services.

Using hashtags allows chapel listeners to join together, get other students responses and opinions on topics discussed, and worship together in a way that is becoming increasingly relevant to our generation.

Twitter is here to stay (at least until something better comes along). Fellow students, it is important for us to take responsibility for our words and actions. Be smart when you tweet. Administration, it isn’t your job to decide what opinions we can or cannot share with our peers

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