“Free speech zones” are an ever-growing phenomenon on college campuses, and their impact is to restrict speech around campus.
What are Free Speech Zones?
Free speech zones are areas of college campuses designated for political protesting, many of which were created in the 1960s and 70s. Not all colleges have Free Speech Zones, and they vary in size and scope from campus to campus. However, in many cases students have to book use of the space in advance, and notably some are quite small relative to the school’s population.
Thus, in the guise of “time, place, and manner” restrictions, universities are squelching their students’ rights to free expression by severely circumscribing their space for speaking openly on matters of community importance.
Student Leaders Champion The First Amendment
Student leaders are starting to fight back against “free speech zones.” This article from HypeLine highlights to work of two students at the University of Colorado at Boulder.
Marcus Fotenos and Colton Lyons believe their whole campus should be a “free speech zone.” As leaders in the CU-Boulder student government, they have championed free speech on their campus by working to pass a resolution the following resolution:
The First Amendment of the Unites States Constitution should apply to every square inch of the public forum at the University of Colorado at Boulder.
Discussing the resolution and next steps Mr. Fotenos said:
Moving forward, we are determined to open up the conversation and begin talks with administration. We are hopeful that the rights’ of the students will be upheld, and the administration will take this resolution as a sign it is time to change the policies.