Debate arises from t-shirt slogan

Texas Tech has been given a black eye, and Geoffrey Candia delivered the punch. Administrators at Texas Tech banned the sale of a T-shirt depicting a silhouette of Michael Vick dangling the Texas A&M mascot, Reveille, by her leash.

The T-shirt, bearing the university colors that read “Vick ‘Em” in reference to the Aggie’s slogan “Gig ’em,” was created by a Tech student through his fraternity.

Even though Candia, the creator of the T-shirt, expressed regret in printing them, the school still took action.

“We will not permit individual students or any student organization to profit from selling merchandise on campus that is derogatory, inflammatory, insensitive or in such bad taste it reflects negatively on this fine institution, its students, athletic teams, alumni or faculty,” school president Jon Whitmore said in a statement released by the school Tuesday afternoon.

Whitmore expressed a sentiment shared by most administrators in higher education who don’t want their institution’s name dragged through the mud.

The fight for freedom of speech on college campuses is nothing new, yet it has garnered significant attention this year.

Take, for example, what happened at Colorado State University when the editorial page of the university newspaper, The Rocky Mountain Collegian, contained an expletive in big, bold lettering directed at the president of the United States.

J. David McSwane, editor in chief of the Rocky Mountain Collegian, found himself in a battle between First Amendment rights and media ethics.

“The general negative sentiment regarding free speech on a college campus is the precise reason we ran profanity next to president’s name,” McSwane said in an e-mail.

As long as universities can dodge unfavorable punches, the students will keep throwing them.

Opinion editor Sonya Cisneros for the editorial board.