Introducing FIRE Intern Maureen Slack
June 18, 2009
by Luke Sheahan
Maureen Slack is a junior at New York University majoring in history. She is involved with the College Democrats, Dean's Service Honors Corps, and C-Team Volunteer Club. On discovering FIRE and FIRE's internships, she writes:
Honestly, I hadn't heard of FIRE until I began my search for a summer internship. After sifting through dozens of job postings, FIRE was the only internship I felt strongly about, and consequently the only one I even applied for. What I admire about this organization, and the reason I wanted to be a part of it, is the commitment to free speech, regardless of the person or the message. I believe that "tolerance," a term commonly invoked when justifying speech codes, should extend to those with less popular, or more controversial viewpoints.
At NYU there is not much opportunity for debate, since the general student body is relatively liberal. Consequently, when someone expresses views that dissent from the majority opinion, it is important that their speech is not stifled, at the risk of creating a huge void within the public forum, where only one opinion is deemed acceptable. While I may not agree with the opinions of all the people we represent, I agree that they should be given the chance to speak. Furthermore, I believe that FIRE's willingness to defend students and professors regardless of their personal beliefs speaks strongly to its dedication to protecting free speech. Any organization with such uncompromising principles is one I want to be a part of.