Recently, the University of Mississippi chapter of Young Americans for Liberty had its first awareness event on campus, to mixed success. YAL members set up a table to campaign for policies such as protected free speech on campus, more sensible drug policy, and a more sensible incarceration policy. The UM chapter signed up just under a dozen new members before being shut down by a representative from the Associate Dean of Students.
The representative stated that the location that YAL members were tabling in was not an area where such demonstrations was allowed, and demanded that students take down the table, and remove the pamphlets that were being distributed. Though reluctant, the UM chapter complied, deciding that it was best to regroup and be optimistic about future efforts.
This came despite the University of Mississippi’s great record on free speech (according to FIRE), and lack of designated free speech zones on campus. Such barriers to free speech are never agreeable and should not be tolerated. UM YAL members will only be more emboldened to campaign for free speech in the future due to this incident, as this right is one that is critical to a well-informed democracy.