Free expression club coming soon to Troy

Abby Taylor

Staff Writer

The first meeting of Troy’s newest club, the Student Advocacy for Free Expression, also known as S.A.F.E., will be held Wednesday, Aug. 31 at 5:30 p.m. in Wallace Hall, Room 107 (on the level below the library).

The club will be having its first meeting to elect officers, write a constitution and make plans for the club for the semester.

Susan Sarapin, assistant professor of multimedia journalism and communication and faculty adviser for the club, described what the club stands for, and why it was started.

“Quite a few of my students have gone into law because this is so fascinating,” Sarapin said. “I have decided since we don’t have as much time in class as they’d like to discuss things, why not have a club, and then we can discuss the cases that are in the news.”

Sarapin discussed how the club plans on reaching the area’s junior high and high school students as well.

“We can plan activities such as providing educational outreach to the area’s junior high and high school students, perhaps introducing them to the First Amendment in a little more detail than they would get normally, and maybe passing out pocket-sized Constitutions,” she said. “Get them interested in our country and system of law before they get into high school, before they get into college.”

The First Amendment states that: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

The club plans on having guest speakers and discussing important topics that have an effect on everyone.

“We would like to bring speakers to campus; we would like to talk about the speech code on campus, not just on our campus, but all over the country,” Sarapin said. “Who knows? This might be a model for clubs on other universities.”

Journalism students, political science students, and any student who enjoys the First Amendment — Sarapin encourages them to join the group.

“I expect a lot of interest from a lot of different departments. For journalism students, learning about multimedia law is required,” she said.

“For other students, such as people in some of the political groups on campus, I think they would be interested.

“I also think that people in the political science department might be interested in this.”

Morgan Williamson, a junior anthropology major from Dothan said, “I think it’s going to be a great club.”

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