After months of planning the conference, wrapping up last-minute details, and reading students’ enthusiastic conference applications, I cannot wait for the conference to begin on July 25 at Bryn Mawr College near Philadelphia. Last year was my first time at the FSN Conference, and almost a year later, I am still moved by the keynote speakers, my colleagues that spoke, the students I met, and the stories I heard. Even late on Saturday night at the conference as I was heading to get some rest, students were still up animatedly talking to each other, debating issues and ideas, and sharing support for each others’ experiences defending their rights, even though many of them went to college on opposite ends of the country and had just met the day before.
This year, we are planning to have some amazing guest speakers, including Jonathan Rauch and Lenore Skenazy, and more student attendees than ever before. We are going all out to make this the most fun conference yet—a free speech wall, a free speech ball (attend the conference to find out what that is!), a photo booth, social media contests, new FIRE swag, and more.
This is a conference that pumps up and inspires students and FIRE staff and keeps us going strong all year long. But we can’t have this conference without students like you! So if you are a student and haven’t already applied, do it today! I know you’ll be glad you did. And if you are a parent, grandparent, or friend of a student, don’t let them miss this amazing opportunity! Encourage them to check out thefire.org/conference.
I look forward to seeing many of you at the conference and sharing photos and videos on The Torch afterwards. If you have any questions, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 215-717-3473.