KU Young Americans for Liberty Hold Free Speech Event
September 21, 2011
by Lyzi Diamond
The University Daily Kansan reports that the University of Kansas (KU) chapter of Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) held an event yesterday to shed light on the shortcomings of KU's policies regarding free speech. Students created a "free speech wall" to allow students to express themselves, and passed out 250 "Constitution pamphlets."
KU has a number of policies restricting free speech on campus that YAL members would like to see rectified. The Daily Kansan reports:
"KU could take away the policies of restricting chalking, tabling and putting up flyers in the dorms," Tabitha Marcotte, a junior from Hays said. "I think that would be a huge step."
Another restriction they hope to eliminate are the free speech zones on campus. For example, zoning restrictions on certain areas of campus.
FIRE has given the University of Kansas a "red light" speech code rating, signifying that it has at least one policy that clearly and substantially restricts freedom of speech. (It has two such policies.) With this event, members of YAL hope to spark conversations on campus about KU's restrictive policies through education and awareness:
"We are trying to promote the activism and the education of individuals," Anthony Orwick, a freshman from Leawood said. "We want to change the ideas that the campus doesn't have."
He said that Kansas has no right to tell where a student can or cannot speak. They hoped that the Constitution pamphlets they passed out would bring students to that realization.
FIRE applauds KU's YAL chapter for bringing awareness of KU's restrictive policies. Hopefully, through awareness and education, the University of Kansas community will encourage the administration to revise its policies and ensure the protection of free speech on campus.