The University of Kansas in Lawrence is making news.
The Wichita Eagle reported that the student section at home football games is coming under scrutiny because of a chant that is yelled and can be heard by views and listeners at home who can hear it over the broadcasts of the game.
The chant, based on a line in the Adam Sandler movie “The Waterboy,” says, “Rip his f—ing head off!”
Now the KU student newspaper, The University Daily Kansan, is taking a stand against the profane chant the student section uses as its rally cry.
According to the Eagle article, The Kansan’s editor, senior Matt Erickson, is “leading a student-driven initiative to stop the chant” because it is distasteful and promotes a negative image for KU that isn’t necessarily deserved or wanted.
In the article, Erickson said university officials have tried to put the kibosh on the chant, but students aren’t inclined to listen to authority figures.
That’s why, according to the article, he hopes fellow students saying enough is enough will help put an end to the uncouth cheer.
As a journalist, this entire situation intrigues me greatly.
I am a big supporter of First Amendment rights, whether it be for students on a university campus or for Joe Citizen walking down the street.
Even so, I believe the wonderful freedom to speak your mind and say anything you wish comes with a responsibility that some people overlook.
Just because you can say something, doesn’t mean you should, even if it is a funny chant at a football game.
Tact needs to be used when considering how to exercise your freedom of speech.
I think Erickson and The Kansan should be standing up and pointing out how disgraceful such a chant is.
KU is becoming more dominant in the college football world, so the attention is even greater.
The students of KU need to rise to the occasion and be true Jayhawks who are proud of their team and school and who don’t wish to harm either.
Continued negative attention could adversely affect everyone involved.
Most conceivably, broadcast stations may choose not to air KU football games because they don’t want the chant to be heard during their broadcasts.
This could be bad fiscally for KU, as well as severely hurting the university’s reputation.
In the Eagle article, it was said that football players and KU Head Coach Mark Mangino are going to “address the students directly.”
Hopefully that will help.
I applaud Erickson and the other students who are standing up against the distasteful group-think taking place in the student section.
They understand the responsibility they have in being granted the freedom of speech in the First Amendment.