High school seniors graduating in 2010 and attending college in the fall are invited to submit an essay for FIRE’s Freedom in Academia essay contest explaining why free speech rights are crucial to higher education. Students should watch and reference two FIRE videos, FIRE in Action: Valdosta State University and Think What We Think…Or Else: Thought Control on the American Campus, and think about how the universities in the videos abrogated the constitutional rights of their students to freedom of speech and freedom of conscience. Students should then write 700-1200 words explaining how the universities in the videos violated the First Amendment rights of their students and betrayed the idea of a university as a marketplace of ideas.
The first-place winner will receive a $5,000 scholarship, and seven other students will receive smaller awards.
Essays can be submitted online here, via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, or via snail mail to:
Attn: Essay Scholarship Contest
601 Walnut Street, Suite 510
Philadelphia, PA 19106
To view the complete rules and regulations for the contest, please click here. Deadline for entry is November 6, 2009. Winners will be announced by December 11, 2009.