On Thursday March 21, President Donald Trump signed an executive order mandating free speech on all college campuses. Taylor Powell, a student at the University of Montana, was invited to attend the signing by the President himself.
Powell is an active Turning Point USA activist. KGVO News Talk reports that Powell “filed a complaint with the administration after she claimed her free speech rights had been violated” on campus.
Powell explains why she was invited, saying:
“I had my free speech rights violated, and [the University of Montana] goes against the First Amendment and has a ‘free speech zone’ which is 100 percent unconstitutional.”
‘Free Speech Zones’ have been popping up on campuses across the country recently. As for the University of Montana, Powell says that their free speech zone is “in a small outdoor area located between the University Center and the library right behind Main Hall along the parking lot – which is a very secluded area of the campus.”
President Trump announced the free speech order at the Conservative Political Action Conference in late February. The order is said to “take historic action to defend American students and American values,” said President Trump in the Rose Garden on Thursday.
We are here today to take historic action to defend American Students and American Values. In a few moments, I will be signing an Executive Order to protect FREE SPEECH on College Campuses.https://t.co/gFFnSl1bEF
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 21, 2019
“Even as universities have received billions and billions of dollars from taxpayers, many have become increasingly hostile to free speech and the First Amendment”
– President Trump
According to the order itself, public universities must comply fully with the First Amendment. Private universities will have some jurisdiction, as they must comply with their own institution’s guidelines.