The Campus Freedom Network takes FIRE’s mission to educate students about their rights directly to campus through our speakers program. Students can bring FIRE speakers to campus to speak to their fellow students about threats to liberty on campus and how they can defend their rights. In 2009, FIRE speakers appeared at dozens of campuses and conferences across the country. Here are a few highlights:
- Greg spoke at the International Students for Liberty conference and Adam appeared at two regional conferences, educating these motivated and liberty-minded students about their rights. Sam, Adam, and I spoke at Drexel University for its Students for Liberty chapter’s “Students Rights Week.”
- Sometimes, at universities where FIRE has an ongoing case, CFN students bring in a FIRE staffer to speak directly to the situation. Adam spoke at Binghamton University about the case of Andre Massena, who was punished for posting a flyer criticizing a professor for his actions as director of the local housing authority, and at Bucknell University, where the Bucknell University Conservatives Club was thrice censored. Will spoke at Cornell University, which had just endured a major struggle with freedom of association regarding Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship and, in response, was considering a repressive addition (later rejected) to its already red-light speech code.
- Similarly, Adam appeared at four different schools in the University of Wisconsin system to educate students about a policy proposal that would strip Wisconsin students of some basic due process rights.
- Often, the speeches are part of a larger campaign to abolish speech codes on campus. I spoke at James Madison University to bring attention to a few problematic policies. The university had already revised one policy after FIRE named it our Speech Code of the Month for October and the student press followed up with due criticism. Likewise, Greg spoke to students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (watch his speech here) to address interested students and faculty members dubious about UNC’s speech codes.
- Greg has spoken on the topic of Unlearning Liberty (about which he’s currently writing a book) to campuses across the country, from Texas State University to Columbia Law School.
Interested in hosting a FIRE speech on your campus in 2010? Check out the speakers page on the CFN website and book your speaker now.