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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Free speech and civility affects us all

Councilman Steve Kozachik of Ward 6 will moderate a panel discussion tonight regarding a few incidents in the fall that targeted religious groups on campus.

The incidents were an assault between two UA fraternities and multiple incidents at the Islamic Center at 901 E. First St..

Kozachik said the purpose of “Free Speech and Civility: Striking the Balance” is to “keep the conversation going about where do you cross the line between exercising your constitutionally guaranteed rights of speech and expression,” as opposed to saying things “just because you can.”

According to Kozachik, this community conversation is important, and there is no better place to hold this panel than on a university campus.

The panelists will offer different perspectives and context to the conversation on free speech and civility.

“[The panelists] come to this with a different viewpoint and different context, and that is what will make it an interesting exchange,” Kozachik said. “In addition to that, the context of the audience is going to be important.”

Among the panelists are Kathy Adams Riester, Ron Barber, Rabbi Sam Cohon, Kamel Didan and Toni Massaro.

Kozachik encourages all of the UA and Tucson community to attend the event.

“Anybody who represents a protected class [should attend the panel],” he said. “Whether it’s religious or ethnic or LGBT.”

Additionally, Kozachik added that it is valuable to cross-pollinate experiences from one group to the next, because it builds bonds and breaks down barriers.

“Free Speech and Civility: Striking the Balance” will be held in the Modern Languages building Room 350 from 6-7:30 p.m.

“Anybody who feels as though they have experienced situations in which the group they represent has had to protect themselves from the standpoint of inappropriate comments,” Kozachik said.


Follow Terrie Brianna on Twitter.

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