Free expression diversifies campus

The Faculty Senate is pushing to remove an antiquated clause from the Faculty and Staff Handbook.The loyalty paragraph, as it’s often referred to, is a remnant of the McCarthy era and the anti-communism sentiments of the 1940s and 1950s.

The clause states that university employees shouldn’t be affiliated with any group that advocates governmental change.

While the clause is seen as embarrassing by some and its removal is almost inevitable, it serves as a reminder of the necessity for free speech among the university’s faculty.

And for a university that is always aiming to diversify, the clause’s removal is an important step toward an environment of truly free expression.

While professors are discouraged by the 1993 Statement of Professional Ethics for speaking for the university, faculty should be able to speak their own minds – even if their sentiments contradict popular culture.

The forward-thinking opinions formed at universities across the country have significantly advanced public discourse during the years.

Forming such institutional opinions, though, requires unbridled discussion within the microcosm that is TCU.

Even radical opposition to the status quo serves to create a more rational middle ground. There is no point in stifling such radical opinions.

If those opinions truly represent irrational thought, then they’ll be regarded as such and, ultimately, rational thought will emerge.

Hopefully, the board of trustees will choose next week to embrace free expression for TCU’s faculty and discard this antiquated reminder of a different era in the university’s past.

News editor Andrew Chavez for the editorial board.