Letter to the Editor:

It seems as though the topic of free speech resurfaces continually, whether it is related to campus protests, the university chalking policy or the rights of different organizations to...
The Appalachian Online

It seems as though the topic of free speech resurfaces continually, whether it is related to campus protests, the university chalking policy or the rights of different organizations to hold events on campus. However, many students are unaware of the larger, overarching restrictions relating to campus free speech, which take the form of “unscheduled public speaking areas,” also referred to as “free speech zones.” These free speech zones include Sanford Mall, Durham Park and the Duck Pond Field behind Trivette Hall. According to information provided by the ASU Physical Plant, this results in a total Free Speech Zone area of 0.67 percent of campus property. According to the ACLU’s Student Guide to Campus Free Speech Zones, “Despite their name, campus ‘free speech zones,’ at their best tolerate speech but have little to do with actually encouraging lively and spirited expressive activities on campus. At their worst, by effectively fencing in campus speech and restricting such activity to a closed and limited physical area of campus, they represent a serious threat to the traditional model of a university operating as a quintessential marketplace of ideas.” Therefore, we call upon the Appalachian State University administration to amend its current policies relating to both chalking and the current free speech zones in order to allow university students the opportunity to take part in the free expression of ideas, through the communication mediums of their choosing.

Signed,

Ryan Hofmann

College Republican’s Events Chairman

Nick Williams

Young Americans for Liberty Co-President 

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