Missouri Student VP: I'm Tired Of Hearing People Use First Amendment Rights To Create "Hostile" Atmosphere


Brenda Smith-Lezama, vice president of the Missouri Students Association, appeared on MSNBC Tuesday afternoon to express her disdain at people using their First Amendment rights to create a "hostile" and "unsafe" learning environment. Smith-Lezama advocated for a safe space for "healing" rather than "experiencing a lot of hate."

MSNBC host Thomas Roberts asked Smith-Lezama to respond to a professor who "complained" universities are becoming intolerant of opposing views.

"One professor complained universities are becoming places of prohibition," Roberts said. "What's your feeling? Do you believe that's a place we are heading for American campuses now? "

"I personally am tired of hearing that first amendment rights protect students when they are creating a hostile and unsafe learning environment for myself and for other students here," Smith-Lezama said on MSNBC. "I think that it's important for us to create that distinction and create a space where we can all learn from one another and start to create a place of healing rather than a place where we are experiencing a lot of hate like we have in the past."

Smith-Lezama said the treatment of a student journalist who was accosted on Monday should be a "teachable moment" for those who approach the protestors with "hostility."

"I think it's a teachable moment for all of us," she said of the incident. "I also think it's important to remember that as student journalists, you cannot approach these type of situations with hostility and with anger because it only escalates the situation."

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