Make the Entire Iowa State campus a Free Speech Zone sign now

Background:

The First Amendment Day Committee and Leo Mores Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists believe that free speech zones on the Iowa State University campus violate the First Amendment rights of citizens by boxing them into university approved areas, such as the spaces outside of Parks Library or south of the Campanile.

Governmental bodies do have the right to regulate time, place and manner of speech and protests, but we argue that designating speech into free speech zones does not pass the time, place and manner test developed in Ward v. Rock Against Racism because:
The burden is on the governmental body to prove why speech should be restricted. The presumption should be that open areas of campus are available for speech and expressive activities, as these areas are akin to public sidewalks, streets, parks, and other areas traditionally open to free speech, with restricted areas on campus forming the exception rather than the norm.
The government interest in suppression of speech must be content-neutral and viewpoint-neutral. Because other gatherings and events are allowed to take place outside of free speech zones, such as Veishea, Greek or Homecoming events, it seems that the majority of speakers or organizations pushed into free speech zones are ones with political or religious messages.
Regulation of speech must be narrowly tailored. Designating only two small areas on campus as the place for free speech is not narrowly tailored.
The regulation needs to leave open ample alternatives for communicating messages. While having a free speech zone is an alternative, it is only one alternative and suppresses speech by pushing it into only two small areas on the entire campus.


Petition:

We urge Iowa State University to undo its unjust policy and eliminate so-called free speech zones on campus. Iowa State should stand as an advocate of the First Amendment and a place where free speech and expression are celebrated and honored not feared or restrained.
We believe that telling citizens they can only express their First Amendment rights in designated free speech zones stifles speech on campus and violates the U.S. Constitution.

Let students and faculty members exercise their basic legal, moral, and human rights; let them speak, assemble, and protest as their consciences dictate. The ISU administration should eliminate free speech zones on campus and thus make the entire campus a haven for the First Amendment.

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Camille AvilaBy:
TelecommunicationsIn:
Petition target:
Iowa StateUniversity

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