Spring Free Speech Event at Santa Rosa Junior College

On January 26th, the newly-active Santa Rosa Junior College chapter held their very first YAL event. After discovering that our campus has policies that are in direct violation of our First Amendment rights, including designated “Free Speech Zones”, our SRJC YAL chapter set the goal of replacing these policies with the Chicago Principles on Free Speech.

After we thought we were more than ready for our first event, our pump for the ball malfunctioned beyond recovery. Shortly afterwards, we were informed by the Student Affairs Office that because we had not achieved “club status” on campus yet, we were not permitted to use a campus table as we had intended to do. These were some initial setbacks we had to work through.

What began as a plan to use a free speech ball on campus to gather signatures for our petition quickly turned into something else. The ball was not a possibility, and we were left without a table at first. Thankfully, I am unbelievably blessed with some very positive chapter members that were more than ready to adapt to the situation. Two of our members drove to a family business that allowed us to borrow a table and we put in solid work for the remaining hour and a half.

By the end of our time slot, we achieved around 25 signatures, and spoke to more people than we were able to keep track of who were very receptive to the message of liberty. Despite getting a late start, and changing the plan last minute, the event was a smashing success, and I couldn’t be any more proud of our chapter. We plan to be out gathering more signatures next week.

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