Students Battle Free Speech Zones at UNC Charlotte for Constitution Week!

Last week, YAL @ UNCC celebrated Constitution Week by raising awareness about school policies that violate the First Amendment. We built a Free Speech Wall, chalked off the boundaries our school’s “free speech zones,” and passed out liberty pong and Constitution swag bags.

I’m proud to say we ended up with 80 new sign-ups and distributed out over a hundred constitutions!

Free Speech Wall Animation

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Let’s rewind to the beginning…

To prepare for the week’s festivities, we started out by building our Free Speech Wall.

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We built our wall around the Belk Tower in the middle of our campus’s “free speech zone.” This is a tower built in the shape of a giant pen, with an inkwell nearby. It’s dedicated to the First Amendment, with a plaque which made it an even better location for our wall. 

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Once that was done, we began tabling!

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While tabling, we passed out a flyer to advertise our meeting Wednesday night:

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As the day progressed a ton of people came to sign our Free Speech Wall! Some even risked sliding down on roller blades to do so…

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While all of this was going on, we were making liberty pong and Constitution swag bags!

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For our “swag bags,” we contacted Generation Opportunity to get a box full of ping pong balls with their logo. Each bag contained two ping pong balls, six cups of one color, six cups of another color, one Gen Opp sticker, two YAL info cards, and one flyer to our meeting the next day!

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Once we got these bags on the table it helped bring out a lot of people!

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We were planning on chalking off the boundaries of our school’s Free Speech Zone on Tuesday, but the weather was predicting storms later that night. We were right, and even some of the sharpie on our wall ran during the storm.

On Constitution Day it sprinkled on and off, so we were unable to table.

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However, the weather didn’t stop us from having an excellent meeting that evening!

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After the meeting we decided the weather was finally good enough to chalk, so we did! 

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This is one of six pathways into the Belk Tower quad that we marked off.

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After being denied the ability to table Wednesday, we went all-out Thursday afternoon and worked hard to pass out Constitutions and swag! People signed the wall, and we took the opportunity to inform them about our school’s anti-free speech policies.

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In the end we passed out around 50 swag bags, got 80 new sign-ups, and passed out over a hundred Constitutions!

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Altogether, it was another amazing week for liberty at UNC Charlotte!

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