Our chapter had decided to take part in the annual “Fight for Free Speech” initiative at Indiana University Kokomo.
As far as activism goes, this is slightly more complicated than some of the other events, mainly because of either constructing the Free Speech Wall or being able to inflate the Free Speech Ball on your campus.
Whichever one you choose, the important thing is that you plan properly, promote properly, and execute properly. These three things will, if done correctly, ensure that your chapter’s event goes off without a hitch.
First, talk with your state or regional director about getting a timeline made of when you are going to have all of your preparations done by, and ensure that these deadlines are being met by both yourself and your chapter members. Ensure that you get your supplies or stipends ordered right away so that you are left with more time to plan your event.
Once that has been completed and you have received your supplies or stipend, it is time to order the materials for your event. Again, ensure that this is done early enough to give you time to procure all of the necessary materials for your event. Be sure to promote your event through word of mouth or posted fliers around campus, so that people know to expect you.
This is incredibly vital: at least five days before your event, send out a press release to your local newspapers and campus newspaper. Send it to as many as possible with a small cordial introduction of who you are and why this story is newsworthy. I have had a lot of success with placing this message in the body of the email, and attaching the press release. Also, be sure to send the trigger letter to your campus administration, either to student activities or whatever office oversees student groups.
Finally, once you have all of the materials and have sufficiently promoted your event, it is time to execute a great activism event. Depending on your choice of the wall or the ball, you will be either stationary or mobile, but either way, make sure to get signatures on your petition! This will send a clear message to your administration that students desire a freer academic environment and that the speech codes on campus are stifling the free expression of ideas.
Overall, this is a great way to garner some visibility and support from the student body, as well as challenge unconstitutional and stifling speech codes on campus. If you plan, promote, and execute properly, you will be sure to have a great event!