News Comment #2

August 30, 2017

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines free speech as the legal right to express one’s opinions freely. This is a basic definition doesn’t factor in the complexities of said legal right. Therefore I conducted research on free speech (which took me to the United States Courts This government website outlines and simplifies the concept of free speech  (see here); however after all my research:  I do not understand the in depth notion of free speech.

NBC News reported that a visiting assistant sociology professor from the University of Tampa was fired because he implied (in a tweet), that hurricane Harvey was “instant karma” for the Texas voting republican (i.e. for Trump). After backlash he deleted the tweet and his profile picture and said that he “never meant to wish ill will upon any group.” This didn’t help because he has already been replaced.

I understand that employees of an organization essentially (whether directly or indirectly) represent said organization. The University of Tampa is a private institution, and reserves the right to protect its image. However, If someone has the legal right to express their opinions freely, how can they be penalized for it? The term free speech is extremely misleading, speech isn’t free but rather legally protected (sometimes) and I find it difficult to understand the legalities and consequences that come with ‘free speech.’

See news story here.

Sondra Thoreson Profile

August 29, 2017

In 1996 an American air force airman (Thoreson) stationed in Japan became a father for the second time. He named his daughter Sondra.

The Thoreson family returned to the USA in 1999 and settled in California for a bit. Because of her father’s job, Sondra moved around a lot. Sondra believes that not settling down permanently has made her “more mature” than her peers.

Sondra likes books and video games and in May, 2018 she will graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in English and a cluster  in Computer Science.  When Sondra began her first year at Morningside College she took Biology and Chemistry in hopes of being a veterinarian. Sondra changed her field of study because her “mind couldn’t wrap around the scientific aspects of biology and chemistry.”

Sondra is a manager for the Morningside Soccer team. This job encompasses social media management and ties into her love of English. Sondra is nervous but excited about graduation and hopes to get into publishing or video game writing. Sondra says that she has always loved to read and one day she would like to write her own novel.