Thank you, Joe Negron, for championing free speech on campuses

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Joe Negron

Joe Negron: After being sworn in as Florida Senate president this week, this veteran Republican lawmaker from Stuart — who has vowed to make higher education one of his priorities — used his new bully pulpit to make a pitch for a maintaining a vigorous marketplace of ideas on university and college campuses. "No one has a right to shut down speech simply because it makes someone feel uncomfortable," Negron said. "We should train students to articulate and defend their ideas in an open, responsible way that prepares them for the real world." At a time when some students and faculty have tried to silence ideas on campus that they find objectionable, Negron's message is needed more than ever.

Isabelle D'Antonio: She's our second helping on champs this week, in honor of Thanksgiving. D'Antonio is one of the University of Central Florida students filling the vacuum for independent reporting and opinion created when the student newspaper, the Central Florida Future, shut down this summer. No newsroom, no salary, no problem for D'Antonio and her colleagues at the online Central Florida Focus. And it has competitors in cyberspace, including Knight News and Nicholson Student Media. Kudos to the young journalists doing their part to keep the marketplace of ideas open for business at UCF.

Isabelle D'Antonio