Deliberation title: WE ARE… Free To Speak. Or Are We?
Description of the deliberation: We’re planning to talk about free speech and the institutions of safe spaces on college campuses, specifically Penn State’s campus. We want to question what the definitions for free speech really mean, and where would (or could) any restrictions lie. What right does the school, as a public university, have to control certain aspects of “free” speech, if any, that does not go against the constitution. Of course we are free to speak, but where is the line drawn to where restrictions need to be put in place; for example harassing or harming other students, professors, or faculty members. We will also bring up the idea of safe spaces, and what constitutes a safe space. We’ll start with the negatives of free speech and how the ability to say whatever you want, whenever, can be threatening to others, and can even lead to violence or unsafe conditions. Then, we’ll bring up the positives of free speech and how it’s good to have a wide variety of ideas out and to be able to discuss controversial topics. Then, we plan to discuss current and possible future policies that we have in place, and what is lawful and should/ should not be done about them, especially as a public institution.
Your role(s): Taking on the second approach (positives of free speech), and researching/ forming the ideas surrounding the topic. Also possibly the moderator.
What you’re currently working on (individually or with your mini team): My group (Marinelle and I) are currently working on researching the facets of free speech and safe spaces and the benefits they have, especially on college campuses.