It is not far-fetched to assume nearly every citizen in the United States is aware of the First Amendment: Freedom of Speech. However, just as what moves a society forward, the time are a changing….
There was once a time where party themes added an element of decoration and fun, but now, it is an occasion that is highly scrutinized. This past Halloween, Erika Christakis, a lecturer and resident overseer at Yale, crafted an eloquent email inviting the community to intellectually engage as they considered their costumes for the holiday. She pulled on her experience as a specialist in child education and understanding of historical Halloween practices when she asked her residences if there was any room for a child to be provocative. She cited the university experience as one that once existed as a safe space but have increasingly become places of “censure and prohibition.” Her husband Nicholas, a professor and other residence overseer, urged students to either look away from an offensive costume or to tell the person wearing it was offensive saying, “free speech and the ability to tolerate offense are the hallmarks of a free and open society.”
While Christakis might have went all fine and dandy, the bar for where society has set as “okay” is clearly dependent upon generational. As the university is a an amazing experience of intergenerational attitudes in an academic space, it is important to stay vigilante to the climate at hand. There is no massive Facebook update for what is okay or wrong in society as it is constantly changing. That’s why it is especially important to communicate with others so that one can understand it what is and what is not okay.