Campus free speech panel draws 150 to James Union

On Oct. 25, the John Seigenthaler Chair of Excellence in First Amendment Studies hosted a panel discussion about the role of free speech on campus. The event took place in the Tennessee Room in the MTSU James Union Building, where the panel discussed legal and social implications of free speech on campuses, especially during times of heightened political polarization.

“Free Speech on Campus” was attended by 150 students and faculty. Panelists included:

  • Ken Paulson, dean of the College of Media and Entertainment and president/CEO of the First Amendment Center. Paulson, before joining MTSU as dean in 2013, led the First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt University from 1997 to 2004, and again starting in 2010.
  • Laura Kipnis, a cultural critic and Northwestern University communication professor. Kipnis discussed her experience as target of a Title IX investigation after her op/ed in The Chronicle of Higher Education prompted two students to file complaints. They said her essay created a hostile environment for students, including survivors of sexual assault. She was eventually cleared.
  • Joseph Cohn, legislative and policy director for the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. FIRE advocates for the protection of free speech on campuses and has been active in developing and promoting campus policies.
  • Jayla Jackson, an MTSU student majoring in multimedia communication. She has been involved with the Student Government Association, MT10 News, Raider Ambassadors and other organizations. From Forrest Hall coverage to transgender bathroom bills, Jayla has tackled some of the most controversial topics on campus.


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Categories: Events, News

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