'Public expression zone' set for Washington U. debate - KMOV.com

'Public expression zone' set for Washington U. debate

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Sign on Washington University campus (Credit: KMOV) Sign on Washington University campus (Credit: KMOV)

Washington University in St. Louis is not only preparing for the presidential candidates to come into town, but also the demonstrators who are likely to follow.

On the other side of Francis Field and across Forsyth, the university has designated a “public expression zone.” University leaders said anyone from the community can come to the space, which is normally used as an intramural field. They plan to have a stage and microphone set up as well. People who want to make a public statement must register ahead of time.

Students are welcome in the public expression zone as well. The university has been candid throughout the process about encouraging freedom of speech.

“This is a place of ideas and we encourage our students to question everything they hear and they want to have their voices heard,” said Steve Givens, Washington University’s debate chairman. “Our students, this is their campus. This is their home. So wherever they want to gather, as long as it is outside of the secure perimeter, outside of the athletic complex, they are free to do that. And I’m sure they will.”

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