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‘Free Speech Zones’ at Florida Public Universities to be Eliminated in July

Starting July 1st, students at Florida public colleges will be able to adequately exercise their First Amendment Rights on-campus public spaces.

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Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to correct attribution errors regarding information taken from the Florida Atlantic University Press. 

Starting July 1st, the voices of students at Florida public colleges will no longer be constrained by on-campus censorship regulations.

The Florida Excellence in Higher Education Act  — also known as the Campus Free Expression Act — will permit students to express their perspectives and actively engage in protests on public campus grounds.

Earlier this month, both the Florida Senate and Florida Governor Rick Scott have endorsed the bill which will abolish the presence of ‘Free Speech Zones’ and prevent campus authorities from initiating new ones.

In a statement to Washington Times, bill sponsor Senator Bob Rommel stated that thousands of students had approached him about the on-campus infringements on their First Amendment rights to adequately convey their beliefs.

Florida Atlantic University (FAU) adjunct communications professor Glenn Singer spoke to the school’s newspaper, the University Press, and expressed his concerns about the possibility of certain radical advocacy groups utilizing the university’s public spaces to propel their recruitment efforts.

FAU College Democrats President Sophie Siegel had successfully organized consecutive body positivity ‘Slutwalks’ that ventured out of the allotted Free Speech Zone in 2017 and 2018, without attaining permission from campus administration, according to the University Press.

Siegel told the University Press that the university’s officials have been “very supportive of students exercising their First Amendment rights.”

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Rachel is a senior at UCLA majoring in Art History

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