The Columbus State University chapter held our very first activism event on April the 21st. We participated in YAL’s free speech awareness activities. The original plan was to hold a free speech ball recruitment event leading up to a screening of “Can We Take A Joke?” Sadly, we were unable to acquire a meeting room due to the fact our official school status was pending. Instead, we proceeded solely with the free speech ball event.
Leading up to the event, I was somewhat nervous. I was completely and totally on board with giving students a platform to exercise their right to free speech. What made me anxious was the unknown possibilities of how students would use that right. I was worried about the potential for a bigoted student to use this as an opportunity to spread hate and division around campus.
I was more than happy to be wrong. Out of all of the messages written on our ball, not a single message was remotely hateful. Many wrote things that were political or humorous. The overwhelming majority of students wrote motivational messages for other students to see in preparation for finals
Oftentimes when discussing restoring certain liberties, somebody inevitably brings up the possible harmful uses of those liberties. What those naysayers fail to realize is that for the most part, people are not going to use their liberties for ill. The majority of people will use it in harmless exercises that are often, in fact, helpful to others. My work with our free speech event served as an excellent reminder of this fact.
Fun side note: When planning an activism event. CHECK THE WEATHER!Published in