The message of free markets and limited government continues to be spread throughout North Texas this fall semester. Already new chapters have been formed at schools such as UT-Tyler and the University of North Texas. Even better, more than a thousand students have already signed up to take a stand for conservative principles on their campuses.
One of the ways I like to start conversations and connect with students on the issues that affect them most is rolling around on campus a giant beach ball known as a “free speech ball”. What is a free speech ball you may ask? The free speech ball brings awareness to the sad fact that on many campuses across the country, school administrations are instituting “free speech zones” which in fact limit free speech. Step outside the pre-determined zone set by the school and your speech is no longer protected. What does this mean? It means that if the school or another student takes issue with what you have to say, no matter what that is, you can be forced to be silent, removed from the premises, arrested, suspended and even expelled. Unfortunately free speech zones have found their way into Texas as well on campuses including Texas Woman’s University and the University of North Texas.
When students see I’m rolling a giant beach ball across their campus, they’ll stop and ask why. At that moment I’ll offer them a sharpie and say to them “write anything you want here”. 9 times out of 10 they jump at this opportunity and that’s when I get the opportunity to explain the danger and hypocrisy of free speech zones. Students agree that if a public university is funded with tax-payer dollars, then the entire campus should be a free speech zone. They understand the importance of the 1st Amendment and when they walk away after signing the free speech ball, they now have both the knowledge and desire to take a stand for their rights.
As the semester continues, we’ll continue rolling the free speech ball along and having real conversations with students. Conversations that have the power to change the way millennials look at the issues that affect them. One conversation at a time.