Free Speech Demonstration at the University of South Carolina

On Monday November 23 our YAL chapter put on a Free Speech demonstration. In this demonstration we displayed eight different posters representing college students and professors that had been unlawfully suspended or fired for simply exercising their First Amendment rights.

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These posters ranged from serious topics to very silly events. One poster represented a Jewish student at George Washington University who was suspended for displaying a swastika in a dorm hall after learning its ancient history in India and discussing how it was a symbol for peace and good-luck long before Nazi Germany. Another poster represented the members of a sorority at California State University being punished after having a Taco Tuesday recruitment party because their costumes were “culturally insensitive.”

We also had a Free Speech poster where students could write whatever they desired and a baby’s crib designated as a safe space for those students offended by the display. A vast majority of the students that stopped by our display were very supportive and signed our petition to protect 1st amendment rights at the University of South Carolina. 

Although we had a lot of positive support, one of our members received not just one, but three discrimination complaints filed against them. We have not received an official statement of what that entails from our school yet, but our petition got over 40 signatures and we will be speaking with the administration later this week. 

“If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear” George Orwell

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