Misericordia to hold free speech forum discussion Nov. 16

By Eileen Godin - egodin@timesleader.com
Shepherd -

DALLAS TWP. — An open discussion on the right of free speech will be held at Misericordia University on Thursday, Nov. 16.

The forum called “Food for Thought,” sponsored by the Living Philosophy Project and Department of Philosophy at Misericordia is designed to foster a conversation about the right to free speech and how it may differ on and off college campuses, saod Melanie Shepherd, chairwoman of the Misericordia University Department of Philosophy.

“This is a time to reflect on this issue more deeply,” she said.

The free community event will start with a reception at 4:30 p.m. and the discussion will be held from 5 to 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 16 in the Catherine Evans McGowan Room of the Mary Kintz Bevevino Library , 301 Lake St.

Forum discussions can attract up to 50 people, Shepherd said. Seating is limited, and reservations are required. To reserve a seat, email Rita Molino at rmolino@misericordia.edu or call 570-674-8184.

Attendees will be presented with the following three questions: “Why is free speech important?” “What are reasons and motivation for free speech?” and “When does free speech become hate speech?” to foster a philosophical discussion between students, faculty and community members.

“It is a timely issue,” Shepherd said, noting she heard of professors suspended for expressing their “political left opinions.”

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, a nonprofit organization established in 1999 to uphold civil rights in the academic community, has received 20 cases since January involving claims of free speech violations on college campuses nationwide.

The rules for free speech are different depending on the “spheres you are in, such as political versus college campus realm,” Shepherd said.


By Eileen Godin



‘Food for Thought’ forum

Time: 4:30 to 5 p.m., reception

5 to 7:30 p.m., forum

Date: Thursday, Nov. 16

Place: Catherine Evans McGowan Room,

Mary Kintz Bevevino Library,

Misericordia University, 301 Lake St., Dallas Twp.

Cost: Free

Reach Eileen Godin at 570-991-6387 or on Twitter @TLNews.

Reach Eileen Godin at 570-991-6387 or on Twitter @TLNews.