A man, Robert Van Tuinen, tried to hand out pocket-sized constitutions on September 17, which is also known as Constitution Day, at Modesto Junior College in California. The campus police told him he could only pass them out on certain places on campus and it had to be several days in advance. Robert Van Tuinen tried explaining to the campus cop that he was trying to start a club called Young Americans for Liberty but the cop just kept saying “there are rules”. The cop shows him to an administrative office where he encourages Van Tuinen to set up a day to pass out the documents and begin his club. Van Tuinen sends this video to the senior vice president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), Robert Shibley. They sent an email to the school’s administration on Thursday and there has been no response. Van Tuinen is advised to make an appointment with Brenda Thames, vice president of student services, who can explain the policy.
Van Tuinen shouldn’t have to go through that much to express his freedom of speech. He just wanted to start a new club and was standing up for what he believes in. I think if it was any other topic for the club he wouldn’t of gotten singled out. The college says the students can start a club or an organization but have to bring it up to the authorities first. If we have freedom of speech why do we have to have permission? And with our freedom of speech why is it not okay for Van Tuinen to hand out the constitution documents for his club? Standing up for what he believes in? I just don’t understand since we have the right, by law, to have freedom of speech why we still have tip toe what we say and get permission for it.