Update: Free Speech Activism on Campus

Those who have been keeping up with the Auburn YAL chapter’s recent antics are probably aware of the ongoing conflict between the Auburn University administration and the free speech rights of its students and faculty. Like so many other publicly funded universities around the United States, Auburn University has adopted a series of vaguely worded, highly questionable “speech codes”, effectively governing where and when free speech is “allowed” to occur on campus.

We at the Auburn YAL chapter feel that these oppressive codes are an affront to the very idea of free speech, so we recently took to the concourse to inform students of these codes and encourage them to speak freely, regardless. The initial protest caused quite a bit of stir, which is precisely why we decided to do a follow-up protest the very next week.

Free Speech Protest

Once again, we donned our blank t-shirts and set forth to facilitate discussion about the necessity for unfettered free speech on our campus. Just as before, we were eventually approached by representatives of Auburn’s administration, informing us that or presence violated the university speech codes; however, unlike before, we were told that we would not be asked to leave campus. Instead, the representatives chose to acknowledge the pressure that had been placed upon them in the wake of the previous week’s protest to alter the speech codes, and even invited our chapter to work with the university in reviewing the revised speech codes.

The results of these revisions remain to be seen, but so far, it would seem that our efforts toward calling attention to the campus free speech codes have begun to yield actual results. We here at the Auburn YAL chapter consider this to be a major victory for liberty and plan to remain steadfast in our fight for true free speech not just at Auburn, but on college campuses everywhere.

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