Student organization tackles controversial topics


Speak Out Loud’s first panel focused on one topic: sex.

The student-led, open-discussion organization covered a variety of material and raised many questions in Kilcawley Center on Wednesday. Participating students signed a confidentiality agreement to protect their opinions.

Devon Marbuary, the founder of Speak Out Loud, said she was happy with the discussion.

“One of the things we talked about was what was too freaky in a relationship,” Marbuary said. “What would your significant other ask you that was pushing it too far?”

The Speak Out Loud group plans to have about five more panel discussions this semester, with topics including religion, fashion, politics and fitness. Ideally, the discussions would have a panel of approximately six diverse students to lead the conversation and offer insight. 

“We only had a few people show up, but it was still fun, and we learned a lot from one another,” Marbuary said. 

One subtopic during the sex panel was the difference between an open relationship agreement and a threesome. Participants also discussed the various types of condoms and how they differed.

Speak Out Loud members will be holding their discussion panels in the Pollock Room in Kilcawley Center from 7 to 9 p.m. every other Wednesday. 

The panels are open for everyone to attend. The only requirements are respect and civility. 

“We want everyone to be able to speak freely without being judged,” Marbuary said.

Marbuary is looking for more people to participate in panels and group discussions, and encourages new students to participate.

“I’d sit in and listen and, if the topic interested me, then I would participate,” freshman Tim Norris said. 

“It’s something different,” freshman Mallory Kohut said. “You don’t really hear about panel discussions. It would be a good experience to hear about what people’s opinions are.”

The next open discussion, planned for Feb. 29, will cover ethnic stereotypes.

“One of the questions we might ask is ‘Why do ___ people do this?’ and fill it in with different ethnic groups,” Marbuary said. She is looking for a diverse crowd and multiple races to either defend certain traditions or break the common stereotypes.

When the group isn’t stoking debate, it raises money for philanthropic groups. Last year, the group held a fashion show to raise awareness about the dangers of drunk driving. Funds were donated to Students Against Drunk Driving. 

This year, the group is hosting a talent show on April 5 in Kilcawley Center’s Chestnut Room. The proceeds will benefit those with autism.