November 12-16, 2018
Examining Freedom of Speech at App State

Say What? Examining Freedom of Speech at App State

Appalachian State University, like universities across the nation, faces the challenge of balancing a respect for and obligation to the First Amendment to the United States Constitution with an institutional culture of respect for thought, belief and community.

  • When members of our community express themselves in ways that belittle or degrade others, how do we address these actions?
  • When members of our community view expressions of speech as threats, how do we ensure their safety?
  • How can we protect freedom of speech and thought for all members of our community?
  • Can we – or should we – use policy to address these matters?

Each semester, the Appalachian Community investigates these questions, and others like them, through intentional programming designed to explore meaningful, challenging issues respectfully.

2018 Podcasts

  • Dave by the Bell: Constitution Week and You

    University Communications' Dave Blanks wanders campus along with intern Liz Pope asking Appalachian students what the phrase "We the people" means to them.

  • What's Your Truth: Episode 05 - Toussaint Romain is woke and working

    Host Nickolas Jordan and his guest, trial lawyer and social justice activist Toussaint Romain, discuss effective tactics for speaking truth to "crazy." Romain shares some meaningful family history and what motivates him to keep fighting for the cause every day.

  • SoundAffect: Stewart Harris on free speech, hate speech and protected speech

    Guest Stewart Harris, a constitutional law scholar and host of the public radio show "Your Weekly Constitutional," discusses the First Amendment protection of speech and expression and how it plays out on college campuses.

  • Say What?

    In this episode of "Your Weekly Constitutional," host Stewart Harris highlights key moments and conversations during his campus visit to Appalachian as part of the university's annual "Say What?: Examining Free Speech at App State" event.

2017 Podcasts

What campus learned in 2017 from ‘Say What? Examining Freedom of Speech at App State’
Listen to podcasts recorded during the weeklong series of events held in March, 2017

The series of events titled “Say What? Examining Freedom of Speech at App State” centered around the First Amendment and freedom of expression on our campus. In presenting this programming, Appalachian State University proactively explored issues of free speech, academic freedom and respect for differences of opinion and belief faced by college campuses across the nation.

The series of more than two dozen events culminated March 31, 2017, but the conversation continues.

Sponsoring organizations

  • Office of the Chancellor
  • Division of Academic Affairs
  • Division of Student Affairs
  • Student Government Association
  • Residence Hall Association

Committee members

  • Co-Chair – Dr. Jacqui Bergman, Interim Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs
  • Co-Chair – Dr. Jonathon Hyde, Dean of Students & Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
  • Dr. Phillip Ardoin, Chair, Department of Government and Justice Studies
  • Danielle Carter, Director, Multicultural Student Development
  • Jeff Cathey, Director of Student Engagement & Leadership, Student Affairs
  • Matthew Dockham, Director of External Affairs & Community Relations
  • Dr. Willie Fleming, Chief Diversity Officer
  • Hank Foreman, Vice Chancellor & Chief of Staff
  • Chris Grulke, Assistant Marketing Director for Strategy & Analytics, University Communications
  • Megan Hayes, Chief Communications Officer
  • Brigitte Kelly, Vice President, Student Government Association
  • Leonie Kruger, Office of the Dean of Students
  • Paul Meggett, University General Counsel
  • Traci Royster, Director of Staff Development and Strategic Initiatives, Student Affairs
  • Leroy Wright, Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs

Related links

Say What? Poster (PDF 6.73M)
Say What? Poster (PDF 6.73M)
PDF 6.73M