On Wednesday October 21, our Rutgers University-New Brunswick’s YAL chapter held a free speech protest. In preparation for the protest we made signs that said things such as ” 1st amendment banned here” and ” RU-screwed out of speech rights?”.
Rutgers University is currently celebrating its 250 anniversary and a reoccurring theme for the celebration is Rutgers being “Revolutionary”. So we even made a sign that said, “free speech zones are NOT revolutionary”.
According to the first amendment, Congress is not allowed to make any laws prohibiting free speech. However, Rutgers “free speech zone” is located on the steps between the main entrance of Brower Commons dining hall and Stonier Hall on College Ave. The space also extends back to the Records Hall courtyard. Even though there is a small area for free speech, this is clearly unconstitutional.
From 11 AM to 2 PM we stood outside Rutgers “Free Speech Zone” and held up our amazing signs, petitioned to end free speech zones on campus, and handed out pocket constitutions. We even passed out flyers promoting our next meeting and emphasizing how Rutgers as a public university must respect the 1st amendment, which is undermined in Rutgers University speech policies.
Overall the event was very successful and we got about five sheets of signups. A Rutgers University administrator even came up to us and said that we were misinformed and that the university actually has a right to regulate “public forums”. Regardless, we want to continue to petition and actually make a difference.
We want to be Revolutionary at Rutgers and put an end to “Free Speech Zones” on our campus!Published in