Submitted by the SUNY Oswego Secular Student Alliance
Oswego, New York – Recent instances of people around the world being censored and even threatened for the act of blasphemy has Matthew Harmer concerned. As the President of the SUNY Oswego Secular Student Alliance (SOSSA), he believes that the right to blaspheme is a fundamental part of the right to free expression. Thatâ€™s why the SOSSA is hosting a â€˜free speech zoneâ€™ in the Campus Center Corridor on the 30th of September.
â€œItâ€™s not just a First Amendment problem,â€ Harmer said, â€œor a government-related problem; the right to free expression is universal, even if that means that someone hears something they may not agree with, or take offense.â€ Harmer also said that the purpose of the â€˜free speech zoneâ€™ was to remind students that they have these rights. â€œI expect a lot of good, honest discussion about the event. Most people canâ€™t comprehend the extent of â€˜free expression,â€™ and weâ€™ve answered a lot of questions in that regard.â€
The event will take place from 9:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M., and is open to any member of the SUNY Oswego community. The process will be simple: just a large roll of paper and a few coloured markers. â€œAll we ask,â€ Harmer quipped, â€œis that people leave room for others, and tell us if a marker goes dry.â€ Additionally, due to space constraints, each section of the paper will be visible only for thirty minutes, so that everyone has an opportunity to express themselves. â€œWe may choose to display the full scroll in the future, as a reminder of what people had to say.â€
The SOSSA is a relatively new organization on campus, having earned recognition from Student Association this past Spring semester. Already, though, the group is having a big impact. â€œWe see quite a few people at our meetings, we talk to a lot of people on campus. What we hear the most is people telling us â€˜Iâ€™m so glad we have this group on campus.â€™ We really appreciate and respect that sentiment.â€
For additional information, contact: The SUNY Oswego Secular Student Alliance: [email protected], or http://sossa.weebly.com