Within just the first few months of the Trump Presidency, the increase in protests at college campus’ has been noticed. Although some student’s and outsiders view students exercising their first amendment rights as a good thing, this can sometimes cause conflicts among the students. Some students even disagree with a peaceful protest if it does not coincide with their views.
The positives and negatives
Peaceful protests do not usually have a bad connotation, but violent protests can leave a bad image of the college or university where it occurred. Take NYU and UC Berkley for example. When an ‘alt right’ speaker, Milo Yiannopoulos, came to speak, the students protested. However, it turned very violent rather quickly, and was reported very negatively in the news. Seeing this protest, others deemed that free speech was ‘vacant’ from college campuses, since the protest prevent Yiannopoulos from speaking. These opposite viewpoints led to many disagreements between students of these schools.
Protests can cause conflicts between students as well. Fights can break out between students with contrasting views, but protests can also provide a sense of unity among the students. Knowing that someone else is standing up for the same thing that you believe in can be a great way to forge friendships.
Protests can have negative and positive aspects, especially if the protest turns into a violent one. However, the first amendment should be always present on college campuses. The key to the unity of first amendment and a peaceful atmosphere is students truly believing in the first amendment. You should believe that even someone with a different opinion that yours should be able to voice it, just as you are.
Campus protests in 1960s and 2010s: then and now
Protests have not changed quite as dramatically as some would think. Although we do not have protests against wars anymore, the protests tend to share a sort of common ground: civil rights. When students are protesting Trump at their universities, they are criticizing views that he holds of marginalized people, or unjust travel bans put into place.
In the 60s, violence was more of a common method to control protests. Nowadays, it is much more shocking to see police use violence at protests. Protests have become more safe for both the protestors and the public. Now, protest organizers can let police know ahead of time, so that police can protect the public and even the protestors.
Although the offer the positive factor of letting your voice be heard, protests can have negative side effects to them. Protests have drastically changed from the 1960s and on, to the 2010s now. As time goes on, hopefully they will become more safe, and have less possible negatives.