Florida Holds First Amendment Celebration, ‘Live Free, Eat Free,’ Feb. 26

MELBOURNE, FLA.—The Crimson, Florida Institute of Technology’s student-run newspaper, will host the third annual First Amendment celebration on campus. Called “Live Free or Eat Free,” the event is Feb. 26.

The daylong event begins at 9 a.m. in the Hartley Room with a keynote speech by Alec Klein, the director of the Northwestern University Medill Justice Project. Klein and his students investigate potentially wrongful convictions and examine issues within the criminal justice system.

The second part takes place 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the Crawford Building green, next to University Boulevard. Students will get to experience life without the First Amendment. They will receive a free meal in exchange for their First Amendment rights. Students won’t be able to ask for which type of food they get. They won’t be able to sit with their friends, talk about their favorite topics or practice their religion. If the government passes an unjust law, students have no right to petition.

The third part will be a panel discussion with First Amendment attorneys and journalists at 3:30 p.m. in the Crawford Building room 112. The panel will include Klein; Melbourne attorney Jack Kirschenbaum, who represents a newspaper and a news division of a TV station; and Florida Today news director Mara Bellaby. Michael Kahn, who teaches a constitutional law course in the pre-law program at Florida Tech, will moderate the panel.

“It is so much easier for students to take the uniquely American free speech rights for granted,” said Ted Petersen, a communication professor and advisor to The Crimson. “This event reminds us that the First Amendment protects the most basic of human rights.”

For more information, contact Petersen at 321-674-7201 or tpetersen@fit.edu or Crimson editor-in-chief Hershlay Raymond at crimson@fit.edu. The First Amendment celebration is free and open to the public.

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