Student free speech rights at colleges and universities around the country are being challenged, even as those institutions tackle a variety of serious social issues, including racism, gay rights, sexual assault and gender issues.
Students at public and private colleges and universities are invited to submit a brief video — up to three minutes in length — by Sept. 30 to the Newseum Institute, demonstrating how their campus has or is dealing with such issues while also protecting freedom of speech and expression.
Up to eight videos will be selected for display and discussion Nov. 17 and 18 in programs at the Newseum. Up to two student producers for each of those videos will be eligible for an expenses-paid trip to Washington to participate in the “video fair” event. Each team selected to participate in the video fair will also receive $500.
Entries must be received no later than 11:59 p.m. PT, Oct. 15, 2016. For competition rules, click here.
The goal of the competition is to demonstrate how campuses can solve difficult problems while respecting free expression — even if the free expression offends and prompts calls for increased protection from offensive speech.
The videos are part of an ongoing Newseum Institute project, “Free Expression on Campus,” funded by a grant from the Knight Foundation. On April 2, students and First Amendment experts gathered for a symposium on issues involving free speech and free press on today’s college campuses. Later this year, the Institute will publish a nonpartisan “Guide to Free Speech on Campus,” written by Jeffrey Herbst, Newseum CEO and former president of Colgate University.
“Colleges and universities should be places in our society where free expression and free speech are celebrated,” said Herbst. “However, many fear that the very institutions that depend on vigorous debate are becoming the areas of our country where free expression is most challenged.
“The Newseum and the Knight Foundation are determined to champion free expression and to identify how colleges and universities can have difficult discussions that welcome all viewpoints.”
To enter a video, click here.