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The BB&T Chair for the Study of Objectivism 78712 • 5122328249

THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT AUSTIN

FREEDOM OF SPEECH ESSAY CONTEST, SPRING 2015

Awards

First Prize: $1500
Second Prize: $1000
Third Prize: $700

Deadline

February 23rd, 2015

Choose between questions on:

Speech and National Security

and

Freedom  of Commercial Speech

Questions for Free Speech Essay Contest 2015

National Security

Premise: One of the paramount purposes of a legitimate government is maintenance of the nation’s basic security.

Question: In what ways is the imperative of national security most threatening to freedom of speech, and what safeguards would be most advisable in order to minimize incursions on speech? Be specific in spelling out any tensions between national security and free speech as well as in explaining and defending the measures that you recommend for resolving such tensions.

Commercial Speech

Premise: Commercial speech arises in a wide range of activities, including advertising, disclosure of product information (ingredients, labor practices, financial incentives of pitchmen and bloggers), occupational speech engaged in in one’s professional work (the advice of a doctor, designer, therapist, teacher), among other things.

Question: Should commercial speech enjoy the same level of legal protection as other types of speech, such as political, religious, or artistic? Explain exactly why or why not and address the wider implications of your view both for other types of speech and other types of non-expressive action.

ESSAY CONTEST RULES 

Eligibility:

  • All undergraduate students at The University of Texas at Austin, regardless of their area of study.
  • Students who may have participated in previous years' contests are eligible, regardless of whether they won a prize.

ESSAY FORMAT:

  • Essays must be between 1400-2500 words in length.
  • Essays must be original, unpublished work of one student; only one essay per student may be submitted.
  • Essays must identity the question that you are answering and be typed in 12-point font in English, double-spaced with 1-inch margins and numbered pages.
  • Submissions will be judged anonymously. Identifying information is requested on the accompanying Entry Form (see below), but no identifying references, such as your name or professors’ names, should appear in your essay.

SUBMISSION OF MATERIALS:

***No faxed or e-mailed entries will be accepted***

Entries may be either hand delivered or mailed. Provide four stapled copies of your essay, along with a completed and signed Entry Form. Download entry form here

Mailing Address:

UT Freedom of Speech Essay Contest
Department of Philosophy
University of Texas at Austin
2210 Speedway, Stop C3500
Austin, Texas 78712

Drop Off Locations for Hand Delivery:

  • Waggener (WAG) 231 – please slide under the door
  • Waggener (WAG) 316 – Mailbox for Clair LaVaye 

Note: WAG 316 is only open Monday-Friday, 8am-5pm

Mailed essays must be postmarked by 5 p.m. on Monday, February 23rd, 2015.

Hand-delivered essays must be submitted by 5 p.m. on Monday, February 23rd, 2015.

Please note that no materials will be returned.

Questions? Contact Clair LaVaye at c.lavaye@utexas.edu

Sponsored by the BB&T Chair for the Study of Objectivism and the Department of Philosophy
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