April 22, 2016

Panelists Confirmed For May 2 IowaWatch Free Speech On Campuses Forum

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Visitors to the Newseum Institute in Washington, D.C., are asked whether or not colleges and universities should limit speech as a way to protect students from hateful comments. The informal results when this photo was taken April 3, 2016, was no.

Lyle Muller/IowaWatch

Visitors to the Newseum Institute in Washington, D.C., are asked whether or not colleges and universities should limit speech as a way to protect students from hateful comments. The informal results when this photo was taken April 3, 2016, was no.

Panelists have been confirmed for the Iowa Center for Public Affairs Journalism-IowaWatch public forum on Monday, May 2, in Iowa City that examines whether or not limits exist for speech and expression on college campuses. The forum is part of a spring IowaWatch reporting project, “Making Boundaries: The Impact of Defining Boundaries for Speech and Expression on College Campuses.”

The six panelists represent a variety of views from the faculty and student levels. Each will discuss how limits on speech and expression align with the learning experience before the audience is invited to participate with questions and comments.

Confirmed panelists are:

  • Todd Pettys, University of Iowa College of Law Blair and Joan V. White Chair in Civil Litigation and expert on free expression issues.
  • Katherine Tachau, University of Iowa professor of history, UI American Association of University Presidents (AAUP) president.
  • Mariah Dawson, University of Iowa junior, vice president of SistaSpeak.
  • Patrick Bigsby, pending University of Iowa College of Law graduate and doctoral candidate at the School of Journalism and Mass Communication.
  • Katelynn McCollough, University of Iowa second-year law student, former Iowa State Daily editor, assistant IowaWatch editor.
  • Editor’s note: previously announced panelist Nicholas Fisher, editor of the Northern Iowan newspaper had to withdraw from the panel because of a scheduling conflict.

The public forum will be held from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at Prairie Lights Bookstore, 15 S. Dubuque St. A short reception will follow from 8 to 9 p.m. with light refreshments and h’ordeuvres.

The event is co-sponsored by KGAN CBS2 News, the Iowa City Press-Citizen and the University of Iowa School of Journalism and Mass Communication Event Planning Program.

“We know this is a hot topic on a lot of college campuses in Iowa and also nationally,” IowaWatch Executive Director-Editor Lyle Muller said. “We’ve sent reporters to several Iowa campuses to ask whether or not people really have freedom of speech and expression in all instances. We want to share what those reporters learned and advance the conversation so that people have a clearer idea on their own of the role free speech has in our society and our learning experience.”

The Iowa Center for Public Affairs Journalism-IowaWatch is a nonprofit, nonpartisan group that does in-depth investigative and public affairs journalism and shares that work free of charge to collaborating news organizations and, via its website IowaWatch.org, to the public. It also trains college students to do this kind of journalism at a high professional and ethical manner. It was founded in 2010.

The Iowa center was a participant in an April 2, 2016, one-day conference on this topic that the Newseum Institute hosted in Washington, D.C.

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