On Wednesday, September 20th, 2017, YAL at UCF held a Free Speech Event on campus. We teamed up with Leadership Institute, who supplied our enormous, inflatable Free Speech Ball. Our campus designates what they refer to as “Free Speech Areas” for events such as these, but since UCF is a public university and we do not recognize these small and secluded zones for free speech, we erected our gigantic beach ball on the South Patio, right in the middle of campus and in front of our student union.
Needless to say, the event was huge, and it ended up being the talk of the campus! We had everybody from college Democrats, Republicans, the Socialist club, professors, and even administrators coming by to participate and write something on our great ball of free speech. We were also slightly surprised to go the entire length of the event without a single person objecting to our Free Speech event, given the stories describing the suppression of similar events on campuses across the nation. Actually, it served as the perfect forum to speak with and listen to the concerns of students and organizations from all different affiliations and backgrounds. These conversations were extremely productive and may even lead to cooperative events between clubs sometime in the near future.
The amount of interest in the club we received was fantastic, and students seemed to love the great liberty-oriented resources we were giving out (courtesy of YAL National), such as pocket constitutions, pamphlets, and a bunch of other cool swag. By the time the event was wrapping up, we couldn’t find a single spot to write another word on the ball. Now thats what I would call a huge success! We’re working hard here in Central Florida to #MakeLibertyWin