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OWU Journalism Students Celebrate Constitutional Rights
‘Go FAR’ Program Promotes Five Freedoms of First Amendment

March 16, 2009

DELAWARE, OHIO – First Amendment experts and community leaders will discuss the five U.S. First Amendment freedoms during a weeklong “Go FAR” (First Amendment Rights) program sponsored by the student board of Ohio Wesleyan University’s Department of Journalism.

All presentations will be held during the week of March 23 in OWU’s Hamilton-Williams Campus Center, 40 Rowland Ave. All events are free and open to the public.

Monday, March 23

Freedom of religion will be the topic of a presentation and non-denominational prayer service by OWU Chaplain Jon Powers and the Rev. Charles Wilson, rector at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Delaware. The program will be held at noon in Peale Chapel, located on the third floor of Hamilton-Williams Campus Center.

Tuesday, March 24

Historic and contemporary issues related to freedom of speech will be explored in a panel discussion featuring attorney Joe Tomain; Randy Ludlow, senior reporter with The (Columbus) Dispatch; and Ashley Biser, OWU assistant professor of politics and government. The discussion will be held at noon in Benes Room B.

Wednesday, March 25

A “right to petition” banner will be available for students to sign over the lunch hour in the campus center atrium, where it will be displayed afterward. Students will be invited to address their petitions to the student governing board or to university administrators.

Thursday, March 26

Freedom of the press will be the theme of a noon presentation in Benes Room A. This program will feature a mock libel trial of The Transcript, the university’s independent student newspaper. Court participants will consist of journalism student board members.

Friday, March 27

The right to peaceably assemble will be demonstrated at a noon luncheon in Benes Room A. Drew Lenox, journalism student board chair, will speak about First Amendment obligations. Lunch reservations may be made by e-mailing student board member Shade Fakunle at smfakunl@owu.edu by March 23.

The “Go FAR” program was funded with a grant from the Louis E. Ingelhart First Amendment Fund. In addition, the OWU journalism student who best exemplifies the promotion of First Amendment protections will receive an award from the estate of Margaret Ann Beltz, a former reporter and city editor of the Wheeling News Register, at the Friday luncheon.

Ohio Wesleyan University is an undergraduate liberal arts college that transforms the lives of its students through a combination of rigorous academics, mentoring relationships, and real-world experiences. Featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives,” the private university’s 1,850 students come from 47 states and 50 countries. Visit www.owu.edu for more information.