Home > Events > Cory Winter and Tricia Kazinetz Present During 2021 DVSAC Virtual Conference

Cory Winter and Tricia Kazinetz Present During 2021 DVSAC Virtual Conference

Event Dates: February 5, 2021
Industries: Higher Education

Just How Free is Student Free Speech?: Student Political Expression and Social Media Movements

Cory Winter and Tricia Kazinetz, both members of the Firm's Higher Education Practice, present on student free speech on campus. Student political expression is not a new issue. Colleges and universities have long grappled with how best to promote student political expression—which receives the highest level of protection under the law—while maintaining  civility on campus.  However, modern day nuances related to student political expression, including social media and a major shift to virtual learning, present a host of new challenges.  Not only can student political expression travel at warp speed using a myriad of social media platforms, but students can, and often do, assemble quickly in person or online in support of or in opposition to the political views expressed by their peers.  Similarly, a college’s response to students’ political expression travels just as fast and is open to interpretation (and criticism) from “friends” and “followers” alike.  There is certainly no shortage of issues that colleges and universities face, including distinguishing categories of unprotected speech from true political expression. 

In addition to its influence on student political expression, social media also provides a platform to discuss, highlight, and advocate on behalf of social issues, including racism and injustice.  Recently, several Instagram accounts have emerged with handles “black@[insert school name]”  where black, Indigenous, and people of color can anonymously share their experiences and interactions with classmates and professors at a given college or university.  In light of this social media movement, and ones like it, colleges and universities should be on alert about the types of accounts, anonymous or not, that its students are using to discuss their experiences on campus, and develop best practices for monitoring and responding.

This session features Cory Winter (partner) and Tricia Kazinetz (associate) from Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr LLP’s higher education industry group.  Attendees will learn about effective strategies to identify student political expression, including practical steps that they can take back to campus.  In addition, attendees will learn how to analyze the competing concerns relating to promoting student political expression and social media movements, while maintaining civility on campus.