The funding of speech is a contentious issue on college campuses. Many students do not want to have their money, in the form of activities fees, used to fund organizations which advocate views with which they are at odds. Schools must decide whether they will fund all political organizations or none at all. On our own campus, measures are in place to ensure such student groups do not operate using student funds. For this reason, political organizations such as College Democrats and College Republicans often find it difficult to obtain funding and must rely on their own monetary resources, often leaving out any chance of large-scale programs.Rather than denying funding to political organizations, the university should provide these groups with the same access to student monies that other groups enjoy. The standard should not be “is the group political,” but instead “is the organization legitimate,” and funding should be viewpoint-blind. Student organizations are a major conduit of ideas and activities on college campuses. Whether these groups promote multiculturalism, sing a cappella, fight social ills or teach martial arts, all of these groups provide something unique and useful to the campus. We would be wise to further encourage this diversity of student groups.A viewpoint-blind system of funding bona fide student groups is perhaps even more fair than the current system of denying funding to all political groups. Under the current system, a group is penalized for having a political viewpoint that may polarize students on campus. Giving money to these groups does not equate to supporting their views, but rather enables them. Funding these groups sends a message that this university proactively supports students who wish to be active in a political manner. This is, after all, a college setting where dissension and discussion are welcome.

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