Students should value and understand First Amendment


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The first amendment of the United States of America,should be used more at a junior colleges.In particular San Jose City College, because students seem to have forgotten why we have it.
In basic terms, the first amendment is the freedom of speech, religion, press and the right to peacefully assemble.
The last noteable time students put it into practice was in the spring 2011 semester when the Associated Student Government and other students walked out of the ASG meeting and marched around campus. They marched through the General Education Building into the business office and ended the protest under Vice President of Student Affairs Elaine Burns’ office window, where the group shouted and rallied.
The clubs and the ASG were upset because the approval process was a long paper trail of tedious forms that were difficult to fill out. The clubs and the ASG were mad because of the difficulty in accessing clubs and council funds so they spoke up.
The result of the protest was not seen until the following semester when new leadership occupied the ASG. The process became digital, shorter and more importantly easier to read and fill out.
The difficulty clubs face to access their funds is still a pressing issue.
Can we assume that because lots of people will not speak out, organize a peaceful assembly or keep the press alive on campus that everything is okay. No, we cannot.
The real issue is that students have forgotten that we use the first amendment to voice our thoughts and concerns in public whether in person, on the radio, or in print, to organize peacefully against wrong doing on campus, and to petition against leadership on campus for a solution to student issues.
For example, issues such as cheaper unit fees, the option for a financial aid card versus the check because of the fees associated with the card, more notification of events on campus. And even organizing to bring a president to our school that is actually from California and who will not leave in two years.
Simply put, commuter school or not, the students should rally before the sports games and shout chants from the stands, or even organize a group to voice concerns at the ASGovernment or Academic Senate meetings during public comments.
We are suggesting that in the fall semester students should be more confident with their words, speak up more, ask more questions of administration and teachers, organize more groups of people on campus and not be afraid to practice their first amendment rights.