Day 1: The Battle Begins

I’m not shy to admit that I’m fresh on the scene, a newcomer both to YAL and Los Angeles Pierce College. When I came to school one recent sunny Wednesday, it was with the intention of educating my fellow students about their protections under the Constitution, and perhaps find a few like-minded scholars to help me get my new chapter up and running.

I expected I might engage in some discussion, hand out some reading material, perhaps collect a few signatures. I never imagined my first day with YAL would amount to a battle for the first amendment.

Within an hour, I was approached by the Dean of Students, and offered a forceful ultimatum: I was to apply for a “free speech permit”, or I would be removed from the campus.

I’ve spent my life under the impression the whole of our country was a “free speech area”; yet, according to my school’s policies, that area is a secluded 4×8 rectangle, outside which a student may not freely speak their mind.

With the support of YAL, and some local student activists, I plan to oppose this shameful abuse of students’ rights, and with any luck see this unconstitutional policy abolished entirely.

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