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Students from Across Country Introduce Free Speech Principles Statement

Students from across the country came together to draft a commitment to free speech principles pledge during a meeting held at the University of Chicago this week.

A statement, written by a group of students from around 20 colleges, was prepared at a meeting at the University of Chicago this week, in an effort to curtail the recent restrictions that have been placed on speech at events around the country.

“Support for free expression is a nonpartisan value that must be protected and promoted,” the statement begins. “We invite any and all interested individuals to sign this Statement of Principles affirming the importance of free expression on campuses across the country. Please share this with other members of your community.”

“The Free Speech Movement began as an entirely student-led initiative,” the statement continues, referencing the University of California, Berkeley, movement of the 1960s, which was led by student Mario Savio. “However, free speech has been increasingly undermined by attempts of students and administrators alike to silence those with whom they disagree. We seek to reclaim that original tradition.”

“A central purpose of education is to teach students to challenge themselves and engage with opposing perspectives. Our ability to listen to, wrestle with and ultimately decide between contending viewpoints fosters mutual understanding as well as personal and societal growth. The active defense of free and open discourse is crucial for our society to continue to thrive as a democracy premised on the open debate of ideas,” it continues.

The University of Chicago event was organized by student Matthew Foldi, who claimed that he wanted to work to cultivate “a culture where all are free to communicate.”

Students attended from schools such as Clemson, Michigan State, New York, Northwestern and Princeton Universities, amongst others.

You can read and sign the statement here.

Tom Ciccotta is a libertarian who writes about economics and higher education for Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter @tciccotta or email him at tciccotta@breitbart.com

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