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First Amendment Center Scholar Headlines Florida Tech Free Speech Celebration

The Crimson Hosts Fifth Annual ‘Live Free or Eat Free’ Event

MELBOURNE, FLA. — “Live Free or Eat Free,” Florida Institute of Technology’s annual celebration of the First Amendment, will be held starting at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 24. The event is free and open to the public.

The Crimson, Florida Tech’s student-run newspaper, hosts the event, which features a student demonstration, a free-speech wall and a keynote address.

The first part takes place from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the Crawford Green, next to University Boulevard. Students will experience life without the First Amendment. They will receive a free meal — a slice of pizza from Old School Pizza or a sub from Jersey Mike’s, and “all” it costs is 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 second part, called “Free Speech, Free Press, Free Cookies,” will feature a wall outside the Denius Student Center. Students, faculty, staff and visitors can freely express themselves by writing whatever they want on the wall. In return, writers will get a cookie.

The third part will be a keynote speech by David L. Hudson Jr., a professor at the Vanderbilt University School of Law and scholar at the First Amendment Center in Nashville, Tennessee. Hudson is the author of more than 30 books, including books on the First Amendment, the Supreme Court, and free speech rights for students. His speech will be at 6:30 p.m. in the Olin Life Sciences Building, Room 129.

The Crimson functions as a free press, where student editors and reporters decide what is and is not included in each issue,” said Ted Petersen, a communication professor and Crimson adviser. “This day is a celebration of that right and responsibility.”

The event is sponsored by Old School Pizza, Jersey Mike’s Subs, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts and the Florida Tech School of Arts and Communication.

For more information, contact Petersen at 321-674-7201 or tpetersen@fit.edu or Crimson editor-in-chief Rebekah Duntz at crimson@fit.edu, or visit crimson.fit.edu.

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