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Free Speech Week at FL Tech


"Freedom of the press, as guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States, is not blocked or interfered with by Florida Tech or any of its trustees, administrators, faculty or staff."

--Florida Tech Media Board Governing Document

The Crimson, Florida Institute of Technology’s student-run newspaper, welcomes a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist as keynote speaker at the university’s sixth annual free speech celebration at 5:30 p.m. Feb. 22 in the Hartley Room on Florida Tech’s campus.

Leonora LaPeter Anton, a reporter at the Tampa Bay Times, shared the Pulitzer for investigative reporting last year for her work on a series of stories about the condition of mental health facilities in Florida.

Her appearance at Florida Tech is one highlight of the three-day celebration of the First Amendment held Feb. 21-23. All events are free and open to the public.

➢ On Feb. 21, the Crimson staff will host “Free Speech, Free Press, Free Cookies,” where they will set up a free-speech wall from 3-5 p.m. outside the Denius Student Center. Students, faculty, staff and visitors may freely express themselves by writing whatever they want on the wall. In return, they will get a cookie.

➢ At 5 p.m. that day in the Link Room in Evans Library, School of Arts and Communication professors Dzmitry Yuran, Moti Mizrahi and Jacob Ivey will host a roundtable discussion on fake news.

➢ From 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Feb. 22 on Crawford Green, students will get to experience life without the First Amendment. They will receive a free meal—a slice of pizza from Old School Pizza or a sub from Jersey Mike’s – but at a cost: their First Amendment rights.

➢ At 5:30 p.m. on Feb. 22 in the Hartley Room, LaPeter Anton will deliver her keynote address. ​

➢ At 2 p.m. Feb. 23 in Olin Engineering Complex 118, reporters from Florida Today will hold a panel discussion on some of the important local stories they have done over the last year.

“The goal of this year’s event is to highlight how essential local journalism is to the public,” said Ted Petersen, a journalism professor and adviser to the Crimson. “Both the work LaPeter Anton did in her mental health project and the work Florida Today continues to do are perfect examples of that.”

The three-day event is sponsored by Old School Pizza, Jersey Mike’s Subs and the Florida Tech School of Arts and Communication. 

For more information, contact Petersen at 321-674-7201 or tpetersen@fit.edu or Crimson editor-in-chief Nathaniel Ashton at crimson@fit.edu.

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Terri Wright has held the position of General Manager at WFIT since 1998.