Let freedom ring | Arkansas Blog

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Let freedom ring

Posted By on Sat, Apr 26, 2008 at 7:44 AM

Free speech is busting out all over. First Micah Qualls and now this.

Did you know that Arkansas Tech's strong-arm president has attempted to restrict free speech on campus to a designated free-speech zone, a la the Bush administration?

On Thursday, students protested the limitation on speech by a public institution (to which the First Amendment does apply). They did, what else, free speech -- a polite protest -- outside the designated free speech zone.

Here's an account in the Russellville Courier. On the jump, a note from a student who participated.


Today, myself and about forty other students protested the designated "free speech zone" at Arkansas Tech.  We did this unbeknownst to the administration, but with the recognition of Channel 7 KATV in Little Rock and The Courier newspaper here in Russellville.  We made our signs, posters, and even had a petition for fellow students to add their support, but the greatest moment was when we left the designated area and marched around campus.  Our supporting professors followed
from a distance, but we knew we had their support, they, like many other students, faculty, and employees, feared for their jobs.  Some of us even feared suspension, expulsion, or being fired, but we knew this protest was far more important than our educational goals.  We do not know if our plight made a difference to Dr. Brown, but to all that participated, we feel as though we have a renewed hope in the power of our voice. 

I hope you take the time to acknowledge what we did on Thursday, so the rest of our campus, the community of Russellville, and all of Arkansas will know that at our college our first amendment rights are being suppressed and that no parent should want their child to attend such an oppressive college.  Thank you so much for taking the time to read this bit and I hope it renews your faith in our state's youth.

Joy Upchurch

You go, Joy.

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