New club unapologetic about free speech


The unofficial Citrus College chapter of Turning Point USA hosted a protest for free speech using a giant beach ball on April 25 in the Campus Center Mall. The chapter provided white-board markers for the ball and coloring books and crayons for any students who became offended by the speech on the ball. (Megan Bender/Clarion)

Curious students stopped in the Campus Center Mall on April 25 to examine a giant beach ball covered in obscenities.

The unofficial Citrus College Turning Point USA chapter brought out a large beach ball, white-board markers, coloring books and crayons and invited students  to express themselves without repercussions.

Communications major Matthew Luna wrote on the large free speech beach ball in the Campus center Mal on April 25, responding to a message claiming "Socialism is low key Communism." He added "when its right winged, the Fire Department is a socialist program. Question all aspects of Democracy and form your own opinion."

Communications major Matthew Luna wrote on the large free speech beach ball in the Campus center Mall on April 25, responding to a message claiming “Socialism is low key Communism.” He added “When its right winged. The Fire Department is a socialist program. Question all aspects of Democracy and form your own opinion.”

Turning Point USA said in a press release the protest follows “nation-wide reports of schools attempting to shut down politically motivated speech, fearing the speech may offend students.”

The press release mentioned the University of California Santa Barbara “where a ‘#Trump2016’ chalk writing sparked a school-wide investigation after complaints of students being ‘physically harmed’ by the chalk.”

The UCSB newspaper the Daily Nexus said messages such as “Trump build the wall 2016,” “Obama is a Muslim” and “Muhammad fucked children” were drawn in chalk across the campus and were discovered by students on March 30.

President of the Citrus Turning Point USA chapter, Favian Fragoso said schools are setting up safe zones “simply because someone decide to write ‘#Trump2016’ in chalk.”

Fragoso said it was immature for people to be offended by free speech comparing them to kindergartners whose feelings are hurt.

Turning Point USA brought out the beach ball to catch attention.

“We wanted to put up a public forum where people could just write whatever they wanted without feeling ‘Oh I can’t say this because I’m going to get in trouble or people are going to look down on me,'” he said.

Turning Point USA called out to students encouraging them to write anything they wanted. For those who felt offended by any speech written on the beach ball, coloring books and crayons were provided as an alternative to a safe space.

Fragoso said it was immature for people to be offended by free speech comparing them to kindergartners whose feelings are hurt.

Some students such as history major Jose Cruz had politically focused messages to share.

“Bernie is a socialist, Trump is a racist, Clinton is a murder, we all forgot about Benghazi on that one and Cruz, he’s a puppet for the money,” Cruz said, repeating his written message.

Another history major, Brandon Ball shared his religious sentiments on the ball, writing “Christianity is the greatest evil of all.”

Ball said having a platform for students to express themselves is in important.

Biology major Michael Ramage (right) and Dental program student jazmin Chau (left) add their message to the giant free speech ball on April 25 in the Campus Center Mall. The ball was brought out by the unofficial Citrus College Turing Point USA chapter.

Biology major Michael Ramage (right) and Dental program student Jazmin Chau (left) add their message to the giant free speech ball on April 25 in the Campus Center Mall. The ball was brought out by the unofficial Citrus College Turing Point USA chapter.

Turning Point USA California Field Director for Los Angles Devon Mirksy who attended the event to help the chapter, said using a giant beach ball as a free speech platform is a popular event for Turning Point USA groups.

The non-profit and non -partisan organization was founded in June 2012 by Charlie Kirk. The press release said it is thier “mission is to identify, educate, train and organize students to promote the principles of fiscal responsibility, free markets and limited government.”

Fragoso said the Citrus chaptercame together a month ago, has around 13 members and has recently approved its constitution.

The chapter still needs an advisor before presenting themselves to Inter-Club Council to become official.

“We are going to be putting out a lot of events like these to reach out to students that have given up on politics because they feel like it doesn’t cater to them anymore,” he said. “It doesn’t matter if you go left or you go right, you have a voice and you should start speaking up.”

The giant free speech beach ball will return to the Campus center mall on April 28 from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. as a second opportunity for students to express themselves.

 

 

 

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About

Megan is on her second semester as Managing Editor and Ad Manger for the Clarion as well as a contributor for Logos magazine. She has served three consecutive semesters as the editor-in-chief previously for the Clarion and is now focusing on supporting her staff and leaving a substantial foundation for future student journalists at Citrus College. Megan has received a transfer degree in journalism and is finishing a second transfer degree in communications.


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