Hearing a law professor speak about the Confederate flag, reading Milton’s Areopagitica, researching the history of trigger warnings, and getting into endless debates with my co-workers — this has been a pretty typical week as an intern at FIRE! Over the course of the last month, I have read and discussed a stack of legal cases, compiled lists of free speech controversies and university policies to help FIRE understand exactly what we’re up against, and even researched free speech allies in the United Kingdom. It’s been pretty amazing.
When I return to college in September, I will be a different, more informed student. I will have a better understanding of the legal basis and the jurisprudence behind my First Amendment rights, as well as the centuries of intellectual thought that established the groundwork for modern principles of free speech and expression. I will return to campus knowing just how threatened free speech is at modern universities. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, I will return to the University of Chicago aware of the recourses I have, through FIRE and through my own advocacy, to fight infringements on free speech and other student rights.
I owe this all to my summer internship here at FIRE, and I would like to thank everyone who has made this experience possible for me.
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Max Bloom is a FIRE summer intern.