Club’s “Free Speech Ball” Rolls Onto Campus Again

Sophomore Kari “Mochi” Nanaschi draws freshman Jesus Diaz. Ashley Ramynke / el Don

After being told by school officials to deflate a “Free Speech Ball” that was scrawled with obscenities and hate speech last November, members of the Young Americans for Liberty rolled the inflatable canvas onto campus again last Thursday.

Outside the C Building for about two hours, students used the markers provided by the YAL to draw and write statements that were more school appropriate than last year. Sophomore Kari “Mochi” Nanaschi doodled freshman Jesus Diaz in between math equations and statements like “Jesus is Lord” and “Women=Men.”

Sophomore Kari “Mochi” Nanaschi takes a photo of freshman Jesus Diaz alongside her drawing of him. Ashley Ramynke / el Don

SAC alumni Jacobed Torres-Bernal and State Chair for the YAL Andrew Aguero spoke with lawyers prior to rolling out a “Free Speech Ball” again to make sure they knew their rights if school officials attempted action against them.

“I called my lawyers and they said that I don’t have to ask for permission. This is the First Amendment and I am covered by the Constitution,” said Torres-Bernal. “It doesn’t matter what the [campus] rule[s] say, they have to abide by [the Constitution] since this is a government-funded school.”

The obscenities and hate speech that got a “Free Speech Ball” deflated previously conflicts with Santa Ana College’s Student Code of Conduct which states that “vulgarity … racial epithets and hate speech” are not allowed on campus.

Security did not take action against them this time and members of the YAL came back to campus Monday to hand out pot brownies — not to be confused with brownies baked with marijuana, but brownies in gardening pots.

“We want to change the policies and that’s what we’re doing,” Torres-Bernal said.

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The YAL is not a ratified club on campus this semester.

A Santa Ana College student writes on “Free Speech Ball.” Ashley Ramynke / el Don

Additional reporting by Marta Konarska and Ashley Ramynke

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