Freedom of Speech


An article posted by The Daily Collegian in August detailed Penn State President Barron’s move to block white supremacist Richard Spencer from speaking at Penn State. While this move did not spark controversy because people actually wanted to listen to Spencer speak, people did begin to question whether or not it was up to Barron to decide who can speak on campus. The issue of freedom of speech seemingly proves that Barron cannot ban Spencer from speaking, but his decision stood and the white supremacist did not step onto Penn State’s campus.

The second article I looked at was also from the Collegian, posted in October of 2017. As a follow-up to the previous article, this one delved into the lawsuit against Penn State for denying Richard Spencer the right to speak on our campus. Penn State was sued by a seemingly random student at Georgia State University, but still to this day, no progress has been made in this student’s favor. Both of these articles play into our deliberation focus on freedom of speech and what should and should not be allowed on college campuses.

These articles connect to tell the entire story of Penn State’s actions in regards to free speech and how those actions were received by the public. Although one person did not like Barron’s move, most other people did not seem to mind Barron’s discerning of who should speak on campus at Penn State.

In our deliberation, we plan to use articles like these to localize the debate of whether or not free speech should flow unfiltered on college campuses. In pulling from articles covering Barron’s actions in the case of Richard Spencer, we can make this discussion more focused on Penn State and how we should go about allowing or diminishing free speech on our campus.

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