The FIRE Student Network is proud to launch the spring 2018 campus activism toolkit: Let Them Speak! Last semester, students from across the country mobilized to work toward ensuring that all students have the ability to speak truth to power. Students looking to do their part in the spring campaign can find inspiration, tools, and resources in the new toolkit to ensure that campus is a place where all voices and opinions may be heard.
At FIRE, we know students are equipped and capable of making their own decisions about the ideas they would like to engage with, but the worrisome trend of “disinvitations,” shout-downs, heckler’s vetoes, and the shutting down of speaking events signals an unwillingness by some to do just that. Unfortunately, the situation on campus has not gone away and — according to a survey conducted in 2017 — most students (56 percent) support disinviting some guest speakers.
There’s no better time for students to stand up for speech on campus and educate their peers about the importance of the First Amendment. Students need to learn and educate others about the fundamentals of free speech, including the right to listen, and offer tactics for how to anyone can respond to speech they disagree with without resorting to censorship.
Students who sign up to take part in this toolkit will automatically be entered in a drawing for a $50 Amazon gift card. The easiest way that students can get started is by learning from FIRE staff on an episode of the FIREside Chats series as they discuss the issues at the core of this toolkit:
The campaign will last until 11:59pm (ET) on May 18, 2018 and challenges students to:
- Coordinate one of more of the toolkit’s campaign activities with the goal of educating their campus community about why all voices need to be allowed to be heard.
- Take proactive and reactive steps to protect free speech for everyone on campus, including a speaker’s right to speak, the audience’s right to listen, and student’s right to react with speech of their own.
- Use their voices to help foster a campus culture that celebrates and embraces robust intellectual discourse and eschews censorship, shout-downs, and calls for disinvitations.
As a way to honor the students who execute the best campaigns on campus, we are offering some incredible prizes:
The toolkit also includes many helpful features and tools so that students can spread their message and educate their campus community in the most effective ways possible. One of these features is the toolkit’s poster series:
For more details on how you can join the Let Them Speak campaign, fight for the free speech rights of everyone on campus, and win great prizes, download the toolkit today!
Students in need of funds to help with campaign actions are encouraged to email firstname.lastname@example.org with the amount of funding needed and a specific explanation of how those funds would be used.
We can’t wait to see students of all stripes join the fight to ensure that all voices are protected on campus!