Honors and CRC Panel on the First Amendment Proves Enlightening

On the evening of Wednesday, October 12, the L&S Honors Program co-sponsored an interdisciplinary panel titled, “First Thoughts on the First Amendment.” The event brought together five UW faculty and staff experts, each from a different field of expertise, to share their thoughts on the evolution of the rights guaranteed by the First Amendment, and the applicability of that evolution to the lives of first- and second-year undergraduates.

The event began at 6:00 PM and was held in the Main Lounge of Chadbourne Residence Hall. The relaxed setting set the stage for an exceptionally approachable and engaging experience for undergraduate students and over 50 signed in throughout the night. The event was moderated by three current L&S Honors students, Ria Dhingra, Anna Nelson, and Allison Keeley.

The three moderators led the panelists through opening remarks on what each panelist felt undergraduate students should know about the changing interpretations of the First Amendment, followed by a robust question and answer component. The panelists were exceptionally engaging, both in their responses to student questions and through the way in which they interacted and conversed with each other.

Topics covered throughout the event included freedom of speech, both inside and outside of the classroom, speakers appearing on campus, book bans and the role the libraries play in the dissemination of information, distinctions related to the expression of religious beliefs, the enforcement of violations of the Amendment, and much more!

Sincere thanks to the Bill Cronon Fund for Pathways to Excellence for sponsoring this event. We also share many thanks to the planning committee members, the panelists, and the student moderators who offered their time and expertise to make this event possible.


    • Howard Schweber (Political Science, UW Law School, Integrated Liberal Studies)
    • Susan Ridgely (Religious Studies)
    • Harry Brighouse (Philosophy)
    • Riana Bloom (UW Libraries)
    • Jenson Lee (UW Police Department)

Student Moderators

    • Ria Dhingra
    • Anna Nelson
    • Allison Keeley

Event Planning

    • Pete Keys, L&S Honors Program
    • Kim Lowe, Program Coordinator CRC

Event Funding

    • Bill Cronon Fund for Pathways to Excellence