After holding a free speech event in which students were encouraged to write anything they wished on a giant beach ball, the College Libertarians expressed their surprise that a majority of the remarks were vicious personal attacks. “I mean, I know it’s free speech, but come on,” one member of the organization said softly, while looking at his shoes. “A free speech beach ball isn’t supposed to hurt me.”
The group, which was criticized last year for displaying signs on Greene Street bearing swastikas and other controversial symbols, told Third Spur that it had hoped passing students would have been nicer. “You can write anything you want! Really! Like, maybe about the free market, or the Immigration Ban,” explained junior Dustin Lewis. “But a lot of people ended up calling my mom a cunt, which sucks.”
“We’re out here reminding our students of their absolute right to freedom of expression,” he continued, gesturing to the 5-foot inflatable ball behind him. “But based on some of this… I guess they know.” The young libertarians, who had set up shop on the Pickens Street bridge, were at first excited by the hundreds of students who began to converge on the ball. However, they became apprehensive when one student refused to break eye contact with the group as he wrote “Fucking Die” in pink sharpie.
At press time, the College Libertarians were discussing guidelines for acceptable language for next year’s free speech beach ball.