Freedom of speech is a liberty constantly under fire in today’s media. With issues as recent as the deconstruction of Columbus monument in Baltimore to players throughout all major league sports exercising their right to kneel during the Star Spangled Banner the preservation of freedom of speech is as essential as it’s always been. On Guilford’s campus a group of dedicated students are committed to promoting free speech, knowledge, and political safety through an organization called ‘Free Press’. Earlier today I sat down with Taylor Brown, fifth year senior at Guilford about what it is Free Press does for our college and how we can all get involved. Taylor is an art major with a focus in printmaking who has been apart of the Free Press community for one year.
Q. What is free press and what does it do on Guilford’s campus?
A. Essentially what Free Press does is we try to give students a chance to get their political views out while putting creativity into it. It important to have a creative outlet for students to get their political point of view out through community and diversity. When people see a poster or flyer for a cause they ask about it and we educate, it sort of comes full circle. I feel we are bringing a sense of community to campus that we haven’t had in years.
Q.How does the process of submitting ideas work?
A.So what we do is if we hear ideas we’ll bring them to a biweekly meeting to come up with designs through Quaker consensus. Our two designers with the help of the group come up with ideas for screen printing, stamps, and symbols in regards to the topic. Look out for advertisements that Katie Collier and I have been posting for events through the buzz and other students have been hanging posters.
Q. What is the importance of organizations such as free press on a college campus?
A.I feel like with free press we are our own equivalent of the guilfordian but better, because we are putting out political information that others might not know about into our community. We put out things that matter because of diversity with the intent of learning the harder truths in the world. We don’t sugar coat.
Q.How has free press changed over the past year?
A.It’s gotten better, when we had our first meeting not very many people knew what we were until they saw shirts and flyers. Katie and Antoine Williams were the original people to do free press. Publicity got set off with Antoine’s design for black girl magic. It really let people know what free press was. It blew up from there. We even get professors showing up to meetings now.
Q. How can we get involved?
A.You can find free press in the printmaking studio on the second floor of Hege Cox. Organization meetings are Wednesday every other week always at five in the afternoon.
Free press is an entirely student run organization. Some of their more public causes around Guilford from the past include: posters to raise awareness for DACA, informing about and protecting against HB2, and the ‘Black Girl Magic’ campaign. Look out for more events in the future and don’t be afraid to ask questions or speak up!