Turning Point of Commerce
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The oversized beach ball covered in writing at the Campus Crossroads on Oct. 4 was an effort put on by Turning Point USA to raise awareness over free speech, or the lack thereof, on college campuses.
“So on a lot of college campuses they have free speech zones,” Jonathan Narramore, Field Director for Turning Point USA said. “But a lot of college campuses have rules that say there’s a free speech zone, and so if you go outside this free speech zone, your speech isn’t protected.”
A beach ball is used to promote Turning Point USA’s idea of free speech on college campuses as it attracts attention from its size and how it is covered in different messages.
“This is one of the things we like to do on a college campus to bring awareness to the issues. You can’t miss it,” Narramore said. “It’s sort of big, and so that’s something we like to do.”
Using the beach ball to promote awareness about free speech is not exclusive to A&M-Commerce as Narramore has traveled to other universities with the non-profit organization.
“I’m taking it to Tarleton State tomorrow,” he said. “This ball has also been signed at the University of Texas at Dallas, the University of North Texas, Texas Women’s University, so it’s going on its fifth spot now.”
As for future plans with the campaign, Narramore plans to keep on getting signatures on the ball and even extend the campaign to private universities.
“I’m going to go to one more campus this week with this ball until I fill it up and then I’m going to start over again,” he said. “I’d like to take it to places such as the University of Texas at Arlington, Texas Christian University, and Southern Methodist University would be fun ones.”
Turning Point USA is a nonprofit organization that aims to “identify, educate, train, and organize students to promote the principles of fiscal responsibility, free markets, and limited economy,” according to their website.
“Turning Point USA likes to talk about free markets, free speech, limited government and what we’re focusing on today is free speech,” Narramore said. “We [Turning Point USA] don’t endorse parties or candidates. We like to focus on the issues that affect millennials.”
As a public university, A&M-Commerce is an open campus, which means that freedom of speech can be carried out anywhere on campus as long as it does not interfere with the education and safety of students.
To find more information regarding Turning Point USA, visit the nonprofit’s website at www.tpusa.com.