ULM should better promote free speech corner


This is all that is known about the free speech corner at ULM: You can reserve time in room 258 at the Student Center and you cannot have amplified sound. 

A sign marks the free speech corner’s spot on the side of the SUB and there is a box for students or faculty to stand on if they choose to use the free speech corner.

But with so little information known about this corner, it is hard to tell if ULM is trying to promote free speech among students or limit it. 

Students shouldn’t have to ask to share their opinions and they shouldn’t be confined to one corner.

According to ULM’s Freedom of Expression Policy, public forums are any outdoor space at least 100 feet away from academic buildings. 

This policy gives the students and faculty the right to practice free speech in most campus locations. We are not limited to one corner. 

Also, the policy states that it is not necessary to schedule a time or clear anything with a member of the ULM faculty. 

Anyone can stand in one of ULM’s public forums and begin speaking about any topic they wish. 

Administration just asks that ULM police be contacted if a crowd of 20 or more gathers. 

So why do students have to schedule a time to speak at the free speech corner?

LSU has a similar area of their campus designated for free speech known as “Free Speech Plaza.” 

Anyone, even community members, can come and speak in this area without having to clear or schedule anything with anyone. LSU is genuinely trying to promote free speech on its campus.

ULM is making it seem as though you must schedule a time to practice free speech. The administration gives the impression that free speech is being limited or blocked, as if it’s something that must be asked for.

If ULM wants to promote free speech on campus, then the administration should inform students of their rights and ways that they can share their opinions. 

We are all protected to practice our free speech in all public forums on campus anytime we wish.

ULM needs to better promote an environment of free speech among students instead of trying to limit us to one small corner of campus.