As I have mentioned in my previous two posts, my You and the World project has been about free speech on college campus and how it is being undermined. I have researched this topic extensively and in turn, have also researched ways people are contesting the toxic anti-free speech ideology on campus. I have seen lectures at campuses trying to establish the importance of speech, I have seen protests, and I have seen informative flyers aimed at stating the importance of free speech. For my Agent Of Change, I decided to create my own informative flyer and put it up around University City. Although I think it is the least effective method of the three, I believe that it will be able to make a difference to students and other passerbys alike. I certainly am not able to lecture a college-level educated audience for an hour, and therefore could not do it for my Agent Of Change. I believe it is the most impactful way to inform people on this issue. Throughout my research on this topic, I have stumbled across fascinating lectures that changed my perspective several times. Figureheads of this movement like Ben Shapiro, Jordan Peterson, and Bret Weinstein all have had captivating speeches, lectures, and discussions that illuminate the absolute necessity of free speech on a functioning campus.
I chose a flyer for several different reasons. I wanted to create a discussion and inform people. I wanted to give them basic facts about their current campus climate so they could think to themselves honestly for a second and say: “Am I part of the problem?” I want to inhibit people’s instincts to cover their ears and more importantly: other people’s mouths. I think if I start a conversation as a result of my flyer, I consider my Agent of Change a success.
I enjoyed doing my You and the World project. It allowed me to research and write about something I am passionate about in school which is normally not the case. This project also contradicted and challenged my own previous knowledge on the subject of free speech. It let me know about organizations and students who are vehemently leading the fight against campus intolerance. Before my research for this project I was less optimistic about how much was being done to combat the prominent negative feelings about speech. There is still much to do, as the advocates are still in the minority.