Credit Hour


MARIEKE BECK-COON | Free Speech on Campus

Season 2, Ep. 9

VERMILLION, S.D. - “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Those are the implications stated by the First Amendment. It’s a topic that gets discussed weekly by our country and has implications for college campuses. 

The Foundation for Individual Rights and Education (FIRE) is an advocacy group about free speech on campus, freedom of association, academic freedom, due process and freedom of conscious. 

On this week's episode of Credit Hour, Host Michael Ewald has a conversation with Mariene Beak-Coon, director of litigation for FIRE about free speech issues affecting college campuses. 

“I think it’s super interesting to think about how you view the first amendment not being somebody who is not being a First Amendment scholar, just someone who interacts with the idea of the First Amendment,” Beak-Coon said. “How does it affect you? How is it coming up in your life?”

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VOICES AMPLIFIED | The Nexus of Law & Criminal Justice Reform

Season 4, Ep. 3
The University of South Dakota’s podcast Credit Hour welcomed USD School of Law dean Neil Fulton to discuss the legal dimensions of systemic racism, social justice and criminal justice reform as part of its series “Voices Amplified.” “To address these problems, we have to understand, identify and engage with our differences, and then seek out points of commonality. That requires having difficult conversations in a patient way,” said Fulton. “None of us are really built to do that without working at it. Higher education can help us be prepared to do that.” Fulton discussed the legal aspects of criminal justice reform efforts like removing qualified immunity and defunding the police as well as the ways higher education can address issues like systemic racism. “I think particularly here in South Dakota it’s so important because coming to a college campus may be the first time where a lot of students have a sustained encounter with someone who isn’t like them, that doesn’t look like them, who isn’t of the same race or who doesn’t have the same socioeconomic background,” said Fulton. “This can be one of the first places where we have the sustained opportunity to have those conversations and build up both the skills and inclinations to attack these problems.” Credit Hour is the University of South Dakota’s podcast highlighting the achievement, research and scholarship of its staff, students, alumni and faculty. Follow Credit Hour on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and