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Millennials the focus of ACLU talk

10/15/2013

By MATTHEW KENWRIGHT

By MATTHEW KENWRIGHT

mkenwright@dailynews.net

The American Civil Liberties Union visited Fort Hays State University on Monday night to affirm their alliance with college students.

FHSU's American Democracy Project student group hosted the event, which was sponsored by Warren Shaffer, a retired FHSU professor.

Gary Brunk, executive director at ACLU of Kansas, spoke at the event about the group's agenda concerning privacy, marijuana use, same-sex marriage and reproductive freedom.

Brunk said his presentation was aimed at educating the millennial generation, those between the ages of 18 and 30, about how they can revitalize the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

"I believe that as millennials assume leadership roles in society, the tension between the attitudes of millennials and the older generation will resolve in favor of the millennials," Brunk said.

The presenter said the views of the typical college student align with the ACLU's causes.

Statistics reveal millennials have a nuanced view on privacy because they share more on social media, but they avoid invasive apps, Brunk said. The majority of college students support access to birth control and abortion, he said.

Seventy percent of millennials are in favor of same-sex marriage compared to 49 percent of adults nationwide, Brunk said. Fifty-two percent of adults believe marijuana should be legalized, while 65 percent of college-aged individuals support it, he said.

Anne Drees, co-student coordinator of ADP and a senior at FHSU, said the ACLU speaker's visit was timely.

"We thought it'd be a good idea to have a discussion about constitutional rights because they are so important and pressing right now," Drees said.