Ethics symposium to bring discussion on the ethics of freedom of speech to CRC

The 12th annual Ethics Symposium will be held on Nov. 20 and 21, where students and professors will discuss possible limitations on freedom of speech on college campuses and the ethics of stating your opinion.

An annual collaboration between Cosumnes River College and Sacramento State University, the symposium promotes a different theme every year. Subjects from previous years have ranged from the ethics of policing to politics to mental health. This year, the topic of discussion will be the Subject of Saying Things: Free Speech on American College Campuses.

The purpose of the event is to go some way towards identifying the contours of protected speech and expression,” said Associate Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Center for Practical and Professional Ethics Kyle Swan. “What forms and modes of speech and expression should be guaranteed protection?”

Many Ethics Symposium events correlate with something timely that’s happening. Due to controversy around speakers on college campuses being faced with backlash, the question of how to express your opinions without stepping over the boundary is the focus of this year’s symposium.

CRC Philosophy Professor Richard Schubert, with faculty experience from University of California, Davis and Sac State, realized there was a lack of academic event opportunities and, as a stepping stone, managed CRC’s annual Interdisciplinary Philosophy Conferences for three years.

Upon the third year, the conference attracted over 800 people, and once he became aware of Sac State’s efforts in finding the Center for Practical and Professional Ethics, he strove for a partnership to continue educational events.

“Community college students have relatively little access to major academic events. CRC students who attend the symposium can experience for themselves what academic conferences are like,” said Schubert.

Supported by the partners at the Institute for Humane Studies and the John Templeton Foundation, as well as the CRC’s new Center for Professional Development, students will be provided with the opportunity of participating in academic conferences and become familiar with them.

“They can get a taste of the sorts of events that happen on a weekly basis at UC and CSU campuses,” said Schubert.

The event will be covered with speeches made by professors from other college campuses such as Quincy University, Pierce College and University of California colleges. In conclusion to their lectures, the audience will be open to discuss or ask any questions.

Teachers from different areas around the country will be flown in to attend the event. One of the speakers for the event, Political Science and Economics Professor Kaycea Campbell from the Los Angeles Pierce College, is one of the scheduled speakers to come to CRC.

“I am covering an address on ‘The Voices of Today.’ It looks at the importance of free speech and open inquiry on college campuses,” Campbell said.

Registration for the event is completely free and includes a free meal for the day. Anyone that is interested in signing up can register at and also find a complete weekend agenda of what’s to come for both days.