FIRE Speakers Reach Texas, Virginia, and Mid-Atlantic Conference This Week
November 2, 2009
by Luke Sheahan
It's a busy week for FIRE's speakers program, as FIRE staffers are scheduled to give speeches on campuses across the country this week.
The Young Conservatives of Texas have invited FIRE to undertake a lecture tour. Tonight, Greg will speak at Texas State University at 8 p.m. in the LBJ Student Center, Room 3-13.1. Tuesday, he will appear at the University of Texas at Austin in UTC 2.112A at 7 p.m. (UT Austin has a red-light Spotlight rating.) Then, on Thursday, Greg visits Baylor University, where he'll speak in the Baylor Science Building, Room D114 at 7 p.m. As Adam noted at the beginning of the year, free speech on campus has had its share of trouble in Texas as of late. Students appear eager to hear what Greg has to say about the importance of free speech on campus, not only for the university, but for the future of our democracy.
Tomorrow night I will speak at James Madison University in Virginia, which has had a tortured relationship with the First Amendment over the past couple of months. As I wrote on Thursday, FIRE and JMU students challenged the university's speech code, which we named our Speech Code of the Month for October. But just as the university was preparing to change the policy, it charged two student journalists—who by all accounts were abiding by university policy—with trespassing for investigating a story about (believe it or not) trespassing.
On Saturday, Adam will speak at the Mid-Atlantic Students for Liberty Conference hosted by the Student Liberty Front at Drexel University at 11:25 a.m. His talk is titled "Protecting Free Speech on Campus." It's an important issue for Drexel students, whose university has a yellow-light Spotlight rating, and for many of the other students attending from around the mid-Atlantic region at universities where free speech is too often threatened. Student Liberty Front hosted three FIRE speeches in late September for its Students Rights Week, and the group's vice president, Stacy Litz, wrote an op-ed in the school paper calling on Drexel's administration to revise the problematic policies. FIRE Co-founder Alan Charles Kors will give the keynote address at the conference. At the end of it all, attending students should be well prepared to help bring free speech back to their campuses.