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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Hit or miss

Last weekend, the Graduate and Professional Student Council drafted a bill of rights, a document recently made available to the Wildcat. Because the bill lists pages of student rights, some commentators are beginning to wonder where UA graduate students got such a sense of entitlement, but I’m appreciative of their efforts to protect student freedoms.

The bill demands a number of expected student rights, some of which are related to freedom of speech. Part one of section four, “”Right to Freedom of Speech, Expression and Conscience”” rightfully requests that, “”Students have a fundamental right to speak freely and to express their viewpoints even when those opinions are unpopular with faculty, administrators, government and the general public.”” The sharing of any thoughts or opinions should be considered an inherent student right to begin with. Its bill presence should be unnecessary, but GPSC members recognize the necessity of asking for the right in light of the recent arrest of a graduate student for chalk drawings.

Part two of section four is also reminiscent of the chalk debacle, “”Students have the right to hold their own moral and ethical beliefs regarding controversial issues without administration coercion or forced conformity to officially-approved ideologies.”” 

With the exception of a few grammatical errors, the bill is carefully worded, part one of the enactment clause being a prime example of meticulousness, “”Should one of these clauses be found to be directly in conflict with a preexisting University policy or legislation rendering it invalid, its invalidation in no way invalidates the rest of the document or any clause not in violation with a preexisting University policy or legislation.””

Regardless of any scripted flaws, the writers want this bill to be taken seriously, and for good reason. It’s unrealistic to expect a plan this comprehensive to be without complication. For demanding a broad range of reasonable, essential student rights, the GPSC receives a hit.

— Laura Donovan is the opinions editor.

She can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu

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