YAL at Elon had a very successful screening of the film “Can We Take a Joke?” during their week promoting free speech on campus. Many students came out to see this film that they later called hilarious and unsettling at the same time. The film got students to see the implications of the increasingly politically correct culture that they’ve seen hints of on Elon’s campus.
At the film screening, YAL gave out “Can We Take a Joke?” t-shirts, pocket constitutions, and various YAL materials for students to take after signing up for YAL. Students also enjoyed fresh popped popcorn, brownies, and drinks for the film, since no YAL event is complete without some treats.
For the screening, YAL teamed up with Generation Opportunity, which really took the event to the next level. With their help, we set up a TV next to the screen, which showed live tweets from students using the hashtag #CanWeTakeaJoke. Students watching the film could tweet any questions or comments that came up as they watched, which we then discussed afterwards.
The discussion that followed the film included lively debate among students, as they questioned the extent to which speech should be un-censored. The film was a shock to many students, who were unaware of the widespread issue with free speech today. We discussed free speech on Elon’s campus, and I even learned about problems with free speech codes that I did not know before.
Overall, the film screening was a fun, educational, entertaining event for students to learn about an important issue that pervades college campuses. They left knowing more about their own beliefs regarding free speech, and curious to learn more about common hindrances to this first amendment right.Published in