For our first issue of the year, we felt it was necessary to discuss today’s greatest threat to our First Amendment rights.

As we’ve learned throughout history, not all rights are always guaranteed.

We have arrived to a time where the president actively works to delegitimize the free press, and students around the country shut down controversial speakers simply because they did not wish to hear ideas that may differ from their own.

When looking at the scorched campuses around the country, it appears as if our First Amendment liberty is no longer regarded as a right, rather a privilege.

And in a time where public officials and our fellow peers attempt to silence our speech, we must fight back.

We must seek to ask questions that disturb us, to hold people we can’t look in the face accountable for their words and actions, to tell the ugly truth and to shame the devil.

We can not hide behind what helps define us if we are to fight for common progress and understanding together.

We can not continue hiding behind our identities and feelings and use them as an excuse to refuse confronting ideas and beliefs that challenge our own, and that may challenge our very own existence.

In 1969, the founding fathers of The Badger Herald refused to stay silent on a campus dominated by a “liberal orthodoxy.” Since then, the paper has worked to elevate the voices of those who have been silenced on campus, to reveal the struggles of our neighbors and to help communities heal in times of tragedies.

While we have long moved away from our conservative roots, one thing remains constant — our mission to seek truth and to function as a platform where students feel their voices matter.

So yell. Shout. I want to hear to the clanks of your keyboard furiously typing away, the clicks of a photo shutter and the reels of film spinning as you work to tell me your story.

Will you stay silent as the right to free speech silently slips away, or are you ready to fight for it?

Join us.

We invite any and all students who are interested in getting involved at the Herald to stop by our offices at 152 W. Johnson St. for one of our new members meetings Sept. 7, 14, 21 or 28 at 7 p.m.