Students Celebrate Free Speech at Washtenaw Community College

Our chapter’s “Free Speech Wall” event for Constitution Day was a success!

We weren’t so sure it would be, however. Early in the planning phase for this event, the Student Development & Activities (SDA) office at WCC attempted to impose (what we later learned was) an unconstitutional stipulation on us. The school administration was worried about the possibility of offensive speech, so initially requested that we attach a disclaimer to our “Wall” warning students not to say anything that could be interpreted that way.

After our chapter politely refused the request, SDA decided to let us go ahead with our event, but sternly warned us multiple times about offensive speech.

Fortunately, two days prior to our “Wall” event, Tyler Coward from the Foundation of Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) gave a presentation to our chapter on student speech rights. Because of this, our group was well equipped to deal with administration censorship.

Aside from these hiccups, though, our event went smoothly! Student participation was high, and we were able to get one full page of signatures.

The end result of our "Wall" - Photo by Adam Vale
[The end result of our “Wall” – Photo by Adam Vale]

We also debuted our newest project, The Abolitionist, a weekly newsletter. We hope this will expand our chapter’s presence on campus and help inform students about issues relevant to liberty. We’ll print information about our chapter, meeting schedules, and contact information in this publication as well.

Our newest project: A campus newsletter, "The Abolitionist"
[The Abolitionist, issue 1]

Hanaan Abouzahr (Secretary) and Will Porter (President) pose with pride! - Photo by Adam Vale
[Hanaan Abouzahr (Secretary, left) and Will Porter (President) pose with pride! – Photo by Adam Vale]

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