Editorial: The gift of having an opinion, a voice and the right to make a change

The Collegian staff


The freedoms granted in the First Amendment are under appreciated, even though many other countries do not have these freedoms.


The First Amendment is essential to life in America and our world would look drastically different without it.

What would our world or the United States look like without the Bill of Rights? 

The government would control all forms of communication. No one would be able to express their thoughts and opinions on any subject. Someone would dictate what religion everyone would practice or if religion was not allowed. If a group of people was against a law, they would not be able to protest through documents or demonstrations. Imagine if all contact between individuals was regulated.

This country would look drastically different. Everything would be controlled, and yet the First Amendment is taken for granted. Most individuals do not know the rights granted to them by the First Amendment and other individuals only know a select few of their rights granted by the First Amendment.

We, The Collegian, believe that our First Amendment is amazing because it allows us as Americans to speak up and out. Also, we are able to be our own person. We can choose our religion, what news media we consume, what groups we belong to, if we oppose a law to protest or to gather with other individuals.

However, there is a lot of confusion about what the First Amendment actually means. It does not allow us to silence the views of others. Our freedom of speech stops when we encroach on someone else’s ability to speak.

For The Collegian staff, the freedom of the press is one of the most important freedoms included in the First Amendment. Without this freedom, there would not be a Collegian at South Dakota State University. Newspapers would not exist as they do today. The freedom of the press enables us to be watchdogs for SDSU students. We are able to state what is actually happening without fear of being shut down by university administrators or Students’ Association if we exposed something they didn’t approve.

This freedom is just one part of the First Amendment, but it is essential. The Collegian is able to be the voice for the students. Our publication is a way for the student body to be united by the uncertainties, triumphs and tragedies.

In addition to the freedom of speech, all of the freedoms included in the amendment help to strengthen us as individuals and future professionals. We, at The Collegian, believe the First Amendment enhances our prospects in the future because we know our rights and expectations as Americans.

The next time you or someone else speaks, thank the First Amendment.