Traverse City Record-Eagle

Opinion

May 2, 2013

Letters to the Editor: 05/02/2013

Don’t be intimidated

As a resident of Leelanau County, I would like to apologize to the staff and reporters of the Record-Eagle for the outlandish behavior of the spouse of one of our elected representatives (Karen Zemaitis). I would like to assure you that this does not reflect the opinions or attitudes of many of us who live in the county. A free press is one of the foundations of a representative democracy, and it is very disturbing that there are those among us who do not share this view (especially those in public office).

It appears that the Constitution is used to support their views when it is convenient and totally ignored when it does not.

I applaud your determination to continue to call it like you see it, and not be intimidated by threats and violence. Keep up the good work and please know that you have support from your readers.

Sara Wellman

Cedar

Assault on free speech

I believe Northwestern Michigan College’s new “Campus Expression” policy is an assault on free speech that may be imitated by other public entities if it is allowed to stand.

This attack on free speech would have been unthinkable when I was an NMC student from 1973 to ‘75. Students then were encouraged to speak out about the Vietnam War, women’s rights and Watergate, to name a few of the heated issues of that time. Could you imagine the reaction if free speech on those issues had been corralled to a “Free Speech Area”?

Free speech at NMC will be restricted because a particular message might make some uncomfortable. But isn’t that a part of higher education, to allow the free expression of ideas, even those we may find not agreeable to our view?

Finally, this policy will be a public relations nightmare for those seeking support for NMC’s request for a 0.4-mill tax hike. NMC can’t explain how the additional funds would be used, but is limiting public expression of an opinion. Do you suppose some of the additional funds would be earmarked to further stifle free speech?

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