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Seven campus political organizations unite under one goal

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Protestors demand that Athens be declared a "sanctuary city" in Baker Center during February 2017.

College Democrats and College Republicans may not agree on most things, but both groups (and five others) all have the same opinion on the university’s new “Freedom of Expression” interim policy. 

Despite ideological and structural differences, seven major campus political organizations are coming together this Thursday to express their distaste for the “Freedom of Expression” interim policy. The Students United Against Being Silenced Forum will be held Oct. 12  at 7 p.m. in Clippinger Hall room 194.

Representatives of several groups will deliver speeches to condemn the Interim Speech Policy and then open the floor to guests. All are welcome to this event, which is a reflection on widespread campus concerns over the policy.

“On college campuses, and here is a prime example, freedom of speech is under attack,” said Ryan Evans, Ohio University College Republicans President . “We like to shut down opinions we don’t want to hear… That is just not acceptable.”

The OUCRs is not alone in this condemnation of the Interim Speech Policy: the Ohio University College Democrats, along with the Athens chapters of the International Socialist Organization and Young Americans for Liberty agree that this policy violates students’ rights.

Local chapters of the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People as well as the Students for Liberty Ohio U chapter will also be present at the “Students United Against Being Silenced” forum.

This year, OUCRs hopes to advance gubernatorial candidate Jon Husted while also increasing its membership.

For the Ohio University College Democrats, goals are different. Its plan involves registering people to vote, gaining new members and increasing opportunities like internships for its members. Despite these differences, the College Democrats also find flaws in the Interim Speech Policy.

“Obviously, for Democrats this year it’s been so important to protest,” College Democrats President Ashley Fishwick said. “To limit (free speech) in any capacity is just not okay.”

The College Democrats, who currently operate under Republican-controlled state and federal governments, feel the need to protest as a means of making their voices heard. Fishwick made it clear that this condemnation is still ideological.

Daniel Kington, a member of ISO, took an even stauncher stance.

“We generally feel that the free speech rights of students have been largely ignored by this university,” Kington said.

Kington also pointed out that complete free speech is necessary to accomplish their goal of educating students about ISO’s beliefs.

Young Americans for Liberty sees the policy as a complete infringement. President of YAL Jacob Koval pointed out that “(free speech) is absolutely required for a flourishing, transformative learning community.”

“We are very skeptical of the administration’s ability to select what messages they do and do not want to be expressed when it comes to protesting,” Koval said.

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