Speech Zones Restrict Political Speech; Students Work to Change School Policy

Free Speech zones are an ever-growing phenomenon on college campuses which aim to restrict speech on campus. As we discussed in this post, these zones work in the guise of “time, place, and manner” restrictions in order to drastically decrease the space in which students can exercise their right to free expression.

Students at the University of Colorado- Colorado Springs are the latest to see their right free speech damaged by free speech zones. As we see in this article from the College Fix, a student, while trying to canvass for a U.S. Senate candidate, was removed from a busy part of campus to the one free speech zone on campus. According to the school, speech for which space has not been reserved ahead of time, “unscheduled speech,” must take place in the small free speech zone on campus.

These events have lead students at UCCS to work on a resolution to reaffirm the right to free speech on campus and to eliminate free speech zones on campus completely. They are using the model set forward this summer by students at the University of Colorado-Boulder to help create a better policy resolution for the institution to consider. It is extremely encouraging to see that the work being done at UCB is helping to transform the conversation about speech zones on other campuses. Our hope is that their work will continue to spread to more campuses and that every inch of every college will be a free speech zone for students, allowing intellectual diversity and personal freedom to thrive on campus.

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