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ECCE Speaker Series Event Discusses Free Speech and The Right to Privacy

ECCE Speaker Series hosted a speaker event on Monday, Sept. 17. This event focused on the right to privacy in the modern age and what constitutes free speech, as defined by the constitution. 

       The Young Americans for Liberty, a student American Libertarian group, handed out free constitutions to people entering the auditorium. In standard ECCE Speaker Series format, students who attended were given three 20-minute lectures, followed by a chance to ask questions for 30-45 minutes.

   ECCE Speaker Series “presents events that promote and adhere to the value of engaged citizenship, cultural awareness and respect for diversity.” Every semester, the University schedules approximately a dozen different speakers to show up and give lectures that last an hour, followed by a general question-and-answer segment from the audience.

    The topics of these speaker sessions range from immigration to healthcare, and even revolt. The main uniting theme is one of civic engagement. 

    The events all focus on attempting to make students better citizens of the world. This event had three speakers. The first speaker was Eugene McCarthy, Ph.D. His 20-minute lecture was on the constitutionality of privacy and whether or not the right to privacy is written into the constitution. The second speaker was Professor Deborah Anthony. Her lecture was on times in Modern America where government officials have come dangerously close to using their positions of power to silence free speech. The last speaker, James LaRue, is the director of the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom. His lecture was on the necessity to keep all speech free, even if it is speech that the vast majority disagrees with.

    After all three speakers finished, there were questions asked to the speakers. Some were about how private citizens could protect their own speech, and one asked about the university asking a business to leave the involvement exposition while allowing others to stay, because the university felt the message this business had was not in the students’ best interests.  Outside the auditorium there was a display for banned books week and a small snack table.

   The next Speaker Series event is Intersex: Stories Not Surgeries, to be held on Oct. 2 at 7:00 p.m. in the Student Union Ballroom.

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