Meet Andrew Guernsey, a student at Johns Hopkins University and the founder of Voice for Life—a pro-life student organization at JHU.
When Andrew set out to create Voice for Life in 2013, JHU’s student government had other plans. Despite meeting all qualifications for a registered student organization, Voice for Life was denied their charter on the basis of the university’s overly broad speech codes. But the group was not content to back down and be silenced. As Andrew put it, “We decided to stand up for our rights.” After being contacted by Voice for Life, FIRE wrote a letter to the Student Government Association Judiciary and published a press release about Andrew’s situation. As a result, Voice for Life was finally granted recognition from the university.
In the video above, Andrew advises other students whose free speech rights are being violated to “agitate, agitate, agitate; don’t let your voice be squashed by a majority that is not tolerant of you.”
That’s good advice for passionate students, and we’d like to help. This summer, learn from FIRE staff and fellow student advocates about how you can fight back against censorship at the 2015 FIRE Student Network Conference. The conference takes place in Philadelphia from July 24 to 26, is free to attend, and will include keynote addresses from former ACLU president Nadine Strossen and Washington Post columnist Radley Balko. Apply to attend today!