Free Speech Ball 09/22

Last week, our YAL chapter at Ohio University rolled one of our free speech balls around a busy part of campus in the afternoon in order to spark up conversations about freedom of speech policies at the campus, state, and federal levels. It was the first time that I had personally partaken in a free speech ball event (though our chapter has hosted events like this before), and I must say that it was a surprisingly beautiful and positive experience overall. People from extremely wide varieties of backgrounds and beliefs all showed interest in the ball, and many students who I assumed would not normally desire to interact with a liberty-minded group on campus didn’t seem to oppose our viewpoints after they saw that in our perspective, freedom of speech is an inclusive right, in the sense that it protects the speech of everyone, and is not a mere dogwhistle for bigoted or hateful speech. It was surprising to see how open-minded so many students on our campus were towards classical liberal ideas, being that many of our humanities and arts programs in particular are taught from a dogged Marxist perspective. All-in-all, this event ignited a great optimism in me regarding our ability to reach people on my very left-leaning campus. 

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