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UW-Eau Claire to host Constitution Day discussion on free speech

| Judy Berthiaume

The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire will recognize Constitution Day by hosting a discussion titled “Free Speech, Hate Speech, & Speaking Out: Finding Your Voice in the Speech Debate.”

The event will begin at 5 p.m. Monday, Sept. 17, in Room 1415 of Centennial Hall on UW-Eau Claire’s lower campus.

Constitution Day occurs annually on Sept. 17, the date the 1787 Constitutional Convention adjourned, says Dr. Eric T. Kasper, director of UW-Eau Claire's Center for Constitutional Studies and associate professor of political science.

"This year’s campus Constitution Day event focuses on the freedom of speech," Kasper says. "Attendees will benefit greatly by learning which rights are protected by the First Amendment, what is not protected, and how to more effectively exercise the rights they have.”

A panel of UW-Eau Claire faculty and staff will discuss types of activity that are (and are not) protected by the freedom of expression. Panelists also will discuss how people can use speech effectively and engage in legal protest when responding to expression they find objectionable.

Panelists will include Kasper; Dr. Selika Ducksworth-Lawton, professor of history; and Christopher Jorgenson, director of the Gender and Sexuality Resources Center. The panel will be moderated by Dr. Joe Abhold, dean of students.

Free pocket copies of the U.S. Constitution will be available during the event.

The Constitution Day program is sponsored by the UW-Eau Claire Center for Constitutional Studies, the Dean of Students Office and the Pre-Law Club. Funding for this event also is provided by the UW-Stout Center for the Study of Institutions and Innovation.

The event is free and open to the public. Parking during the event is available in any university lot.

For more information contact Dr. Eric T. Kasper at 715-836-4802 or kasperet@uwec.edu.