STAFF EDITORIAL: Report Card loves

UT’s suspension of poster policy: A

The University of Texas decided Thursday to reverse a policy prohibiting students from hanging any poster or item on their dorm windows, The Houston Chronicle reported, in a move that rightly overturned the school’s infringement on free speech.

Two students were told they would not be allowed to register for classes until they removed a political poster supporting Sen. Barack Obama from their window, The Chronicle Reported.

The change of policy was so warranted even UT Republicans got behind it. According to The Chronicle, the president of College Republicans backed the two students’ in question.

The university apparently implemented the policy for aesthetic purposes, but such a superficial motive should never impede on student rights. With organizations struggling to engage the youth in this year’s election by conducting extensive voter registration drives and organizing political events, schools should readily support students’ political expressions.

Thankfully, UT has suspended the rule and will revisit the policy. We hope it decides to consistently allow students to express themselves on the windows of the dorms they pay a great deal to live in.

Advertising Council’s campaign to correct vocabulary: A+

Vocabulary tends to shift and transform over time, but one popular adaptation is particularly offensive: using the word "gay" to negatively describe something.

The Advertising Council is looking to change that, The New York Times reported Tuesday, by releasing public service announcements geared toward teenagers that discourage the use of the phrase "that’s so gay."

While we advocate free speech, see above, it is equally important to use language correctly. A word generally accepted to mean a way of life is now often used as an insult.

A commercial by the organization that features Wanda Sykes sums up the reasoning behind the campaign perfectly. The Times reported that in it the comedian responds to a teenager calling a statue gay by asking how he would react if she said something she didn’t like was "so ’16-year-old boy with a cheesy mustache.’"

The Advertising Council is right to strive to hinder the use of "gay" in a derogatory fashion. Plenty of other words can describe something more accurately. We hope the initiative will help broaden and cultivate teenagers’ vocabulary so they may discuss things they dislike in a more sophisticated – and less offensive – manner.

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