First Amendment Days

First Amendment Days

22nd annual First Amendment Days

April 15-19, 2024

First Amendment Days is a weeklong celebration of our First Amendment freedoms – religion, speech, press, assembly, petition. A diverse assortment of speakers, events and activities are offered on campus every spring as a creative way to engage students and the entire Iowa State community to better understand the power of free expression. First Amendment Days is also designed to provide opportunities to exercise our five freedoms.

Now in its 22nd year, First Amendment Days is the longest-running continual student-led First Amendment celebration at any university in the U.S. The celebration is organized by the First Amendment Committee, which is made up of members of the Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication and the Iowa State Daily Media Group.

Our 22nd annual First Amendment Days, April 15-19, 2024 “Humor Me”

  • Tuesday, April 16, “The First Amendment is Pun-damental,” pun battle at Ames Public Library, 7 p.m.
  • Wednesday, April 17, “A Revolution was Once Televised: Norman Lear Sitcoms and Satire,” Novotny Lawrance, associate professor and director of the Black Film Center & Archive, The Media School, Indiana University Bloomington, 11 a.m., 169 Hamilton Hall
  • Wednesday, April 17, “The Onion: Comedy, Controversy and the First Amendment,” Mike Gillis, head writer, The Onion, Memorial Union, Sun Room, 7 p.m.
  • Thursday, April 18, Feast on the First, Central Campus, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

First Amendment Collaborations

Ames Public Library

“The First Amendment is Pun-damental”

The First Amendment is the cornerstone of American freedoms, and the freedom to laugh is an important part of that. This year, celebrate the First Amendment Days by participating in (or laughing at) a First Amendment-themed pun battle! We’ll have multiple rounds and plenty of opportunities for our punsters to show off their skills. It promises to be a lot of pun(s)!

Presented in partnership with Ames Public Library and Iowa State University Greenlee School  of Journalism and Communication.

Tuesday, April 16, 7 p.m., Ames Public Library (515 Douglas Ave., Ames)

Iowa State University Library First Amendment libguide

Want to study up on the First Amendment? Check out the extensive resources available in this Iowa State University Library First Amendment libguide curated by Charles Yier of the Iowa State University Library in conjunction with First Amendment Days.

Iowa State Daily – Letters to the Editor

Available Always

We encourage students to exercise their freedom of the press by writing letters to the editor to the Iowa State Daily and other news organizations. See the Iowa State Daily’s policy for letters to the editor.

students marching with flag of Iowa
Students march during the 2004 First Amendment Day celebration.

FAD Through the Years

The inaugural Iowa State University First Amendment Day celebration took place in 2003 and was organized by Mark Witherspoon, Iowa State Daily emeritus editorial advisor and former Greenlee faculty member. The Greenlee School has organized a celebration every year since. See how First Amendment Days has evolved through the years.