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Free speech rights event held at Rocky

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A recent event at Rocky Mountain College encouraged students to exercise their free speech rights by writing on a large beach ball. (MTN photo/Molly Davis.) A recent event at Rocky Mountain College encouraged students to exercise their free speech rights by writing on a large beach ball. (MTN photo/Molly Davis.)
BILLINGS -

A recent free-speech event at Rocky Mountain College highlighted the loss of free speech happening on college campuses around the nation. 

On Wednesday the Rocky Mountain College chapter of Young Americans for Liberty launched their Fight for Free Speech campaign, a movement to respect the fundamental rights and reform free speech codes.

The event included a large, 6-foot beach ball and students were encouraged to practice their free speech by writing on the ball.

“Recently on college campuses, our open discourse has been threatened, particularly when discussing politics,” said Cliff Maloney Jr., YAL’s executive director.

Although there hasn’t been a threat of speech rights at Rocky Mountain College, members said the YAL chapter still believes in trying to challenge nationwide trends of censoring student’s speech by bringing this event to Rocky.

“Our YAL chapter believes the free flow of ideas is vital to a healthy academic environment," Chapter Vice President Matthew Walls said of the campaign. "We’re here to combat authoritarian voices present across the nation, and bring attention to the occurrence of oppression of rights happening on university campuses.”

Hundreds of university campuses nationwide are also participating in the campaign to defend free speech on college campuses.

Alexander Staudt, YAL’s Director of Free Speech, said this issue of free speech limits “affects all students - conservatives, liberals, libertarians, blacks, Latinos, Asians, whites, and everyone else in between. It puts a choke hold on the exploration of ideas which is the hallmark of intellectual growth for our nation's future leaders. We must unite to protect speech for all.”

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