Free Speech Activism at Towson University, Maryland

On the first Thursday of this semester I hosted a Free Speech Ball event at Towson University, Maryland, in order to raise awareness for the Yellow Light policies flagged at my school by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), as well as to recruit  members to my newly forming chapter. As promised, the large beach ball gained a lot of attention from students passing by. For a school whose faculty and typical student-base tend to lean more to the left, I was genuinely surprised by the positive feedback I received. Nearly every student I encountered was in agreement that the policy, which requires student groups to seek prior approval from administration before hosting events, was in fact a violation of one’s First Amendment rights to free speech and peaceful assembly. I filled approximately eleven sheets of petitions within the short hour-and-a-half that I held the event, as well as handed out Pocket Constitutions and Free Speech fliers to everyone who stopped by.

The following Thursday I brought the Free Speech Ball out again. Prior to the event, I sent out a text message to every individual who signed my petitions and asked if they would be interested in helping out. No one was able to help, however, a few did promise to at least stop by and say “hey”. On the second day I attracted even more students to write on the ball, filled nine more petition sheets, and handed out almost my entire remaining supply of Pocket Constitutions. 

Following the second event, I reached out again to every individual who provided a phone number, described a little about our organization, my goals for our campus, and asked if any were interested in getting involved. Five responded that they were interested. With the help of these five fellow students, I am currently working on seeking club recognition from my University. Once recognized, I will be able to reserve a room for meetings, request a table for outdoor events, and perhaps event host a public speaker. 

I have had a successful first few weeks of this semester. I am looking forward to getting to know my new chapter members, and working with them to promote the principles of personal liberty and free markets, and Make Liberty Win at Towson University! 

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