Large beach ball serves as tool for free speech


Perla Lara

The turning point USA organization free speech beach ball on campus Wednesday Sept. 21 attracted the attention of Nathaniel Woodson (left) theater major and Jordan Wong art major (right). On the free speech ball Wong wrote “pretty freaking groovy, man.” Photo credit: Perla Lara

Perla Lara

Participation was the main reason Jordan Wong, art major, decided to take time and write a message on the free speech ball brought to campus by the Turning Point USA organization.

“I like participation,” Wong said, “It’s important to remind people that they do have free speech.”

Reminding people that they have the right to free speech was the reason Turning Point USA organization brought an inflatable beach ball to campus.

Dominique Blair, Los Angeles field director for Turning Point USA said, “Today we have out a free speech ball we’re educating students on their right to freedom of speech, and really promoting your constitutional rights to say whatever you want to say and express yourself.”

Blair and her two other companions had a table set up with dry erase markers, posters, organization pamphlets and a signup sheet for those interested in joining the organization.

They encouraged the students passing by Falcon Square to stop and write any message they wanted on the ball making it anonymous if they wanted.

According to Blair the student response was great, “Students are excited for the free speech ball, being able to write anything they wanted and show it to their friends.”

Marlie Serrano, who was visiting the campus with a friend, was drawn to the beach ball and wanted to know more about why it was on campus.

She said, “I kind of want to draw on [the beach ball].”

For her it was a fun activity to do while she was visiting the campus.

Theater major Nathaniel Woodson saw the beach ball from inside his dance studio classroom and went to the beach ball to find out what it was about. Ultimately, he decided not to participate.

Wong decided to write on the free speech ball for symbolic reasons.

He said, “It’s about exercising your right to free speech so I decided to ironically write something that didn’t say anything.”

The message he wrote was “pretty freaking groovy, man.”

Blair stressed that the ball was a tool used to educate people the right to free speech.

She said the ball is reusable, “We use dry erase markers so we can use it again later on in the semester. It’s something you can do over and over again. You deflate it, pump it up all over again, take away the dry-erase [markers] and then start over.”