FALL 201 2 NEW GUIDE TO FREE SPEECH ON CAMPUS P.2 THE 2012 CFN CONFERENCE P.10 2012 BEST COLLEGES FOR FREE SPEECH P.3 PURDUE U. CALUMET IN COURT FOR FREE SPEECH VIOLATIONS P.7 OHIO COLLEGE SUED FOR CENSORSHIP P.8 ANTI- BULLYING RULE THREATENS FREE SPEECH AT U. OF DELAWARE P.9 LETTER FROM the Director of Development T hings at FIRE are busy! With the fall semester in full swing and the election season upon us, too many college administra- ALISHA GLENNON tors are busy doing what they do best: squelching expression on campus. For FIRE staff, that and resolution of campus rights violations, means more late nights at the office—and for and generate new avenues for public pressure FIRE donors, that means it’s time for you to and administrative reform; renew your support. • FURTHER update our Guides to Student Rights on Campus, releasing an updated version of Your past donations provided us with the our Guide to Due Process and Fair Procedure resources to win 21 public victories benefitting on Campus; more than 750,000 students just this year alone. • CREATE, PUBLISH, AND DISTRIBUTE dozens of Today, I hope you will consider contributing short films aimed at exposing the state of again so that FIRE can ramp up our efforts in liberty on campus. 2013. Your donation will allow FIRE to: We understand that you need to choose wisely • DEFEND students and faculty members against when deciding which organizations have earned abuses of their expressive rights and viola- your financial support. You need to evaluate tions of their right to private conscience; who is making a bigger impact in the world • BUILD coalitions in the legal and policy fields and who is most worthy of your investment, by recruiting new attorneys for our Legal whether it be $10 or $1,000. FIRE’s consistent Network, holding more Continuing Legal and principled approach to advancing liberty Education courses, and gathering support means more cases won, more students defended, for our efforts to combat regulatory and more protection for professors’ academic free- administrative threats on and off campus; dom, and more rights for everyone on campus. • BATTLE harmful speech codes through our We are a safe bet. Not only does our reputation Spotlight database, Policy Reform Project, speak for itself, but our plans for the future are and Speech Code Litigation Project; ambitious and achievable—if only we can earn • PARTNER with the Bill of Rights Institute to your support once again. develop a high school curriculum that will educate students about coming into their full I hope you will choose to invest in FIRE. Your First Amendment rights as American adults gifts are 100% tax deductible. If you have and about the state of freedom of speech on questions about the different ways you can help college campuses; FIRE, please feel free to reach out to me at • RELEASE a smartphone application that will firstname.lastname@example.org or 215-717-3473. provide a forum for the reporting, advertising, Alisha Glennon 01 FALL 2012 in action FIRE ANNOUNCES NEW GUIDE TO FREE SPEECH ON CAMPUS F IRE is proud to announce the second edition of our Guide to Free Speech on Cam- pus, published this July. More than 50 FIRE staff campus, the Guide draws from historical, legal, and practical sources to arm its readers with the knowledge needed to promote the members, supporters, and students gathered in freedom, meaningful debate, and openness Washington, D.C., to celebrate the book’s release. upon which our society depends for its continuing vitality.” Published in 2005, the first edition of FIRE’s Guide to Free Speech on Campus has been dis- The second edition of the Guide was edited tributed to more than 138,000 students, faculty by FIRE President Greg Lukianoff and FIRE members, alumni, administrators, and citizens Director of Legal and Public Advocacy across the country as a tool to fight censorship Will Creeley. on campus. The newly revised second edition of the Guide has been fully updated for today’s students, paying special attention to student expression in the Facebook era and providing readers with new examples from FIRE’s case archives, important updates from state and federal case law, and incisive analysis. FIRE distributes free hard copies to students who contact FIRE, while electronic copies in popular e-reader formats are free to the public. FIRE’s Guide has received praise from civil liberties advocates across the country, including Nadine Strossen, Professor of Law at New York Law School, former President of the American Civil Liberties Union (1991–2008), and member of FIRE’s Board of Editors. Strossen says: “FIRE’s newly revised Guide to Free Speech on Campus is both enlightening and empowering. It should inspire students and faculty to exercise their free speech rights vigorously and to defend freedom of speech for every member of the campus community. With fresh examples relevant to today’s college FIRE’S GUIDE TO FREE SPEECH ON CAMPUS FALL 2012 02 in action FIRE PRAISES SEVEN COLLEGES AS BEST FOR FREE SPEECH IN 2012 W ith students back on campus and high school seniors beginning their college applications, FIRE was pleased to announce our 2012 list of the nation’s best colleges and univer- sities for freedom of speech in The Huffington Post in September. FIRE commended the following institutions for protecting free speech on campus and maintaining policies that honor freedom of expression: JAMES MADISON UNIVERSITY JAMES MADISON UNIVERSITY THE COLLEGE OF WILLIAM & MARY In determining what schools would appear on UNIVERSITY OF MISSISSIPPI this year’s list, FIRE considered whether an MISSISSIPPI STATE UNIVERSITY institution’s policies restricted speech protected UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE–KNOXVILLE by the First Amendment and whether the school had censored speech in recent years. Each of UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA the seven institutions chosen has earned a UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA “green light” rating in FIRE’s Spotlight database of university policies. FIRE awards a college or Three new institutions joined this year’s list. university a green light rating if it does not James Madison University, the University of maintain any policies that seriously imperil Mississippi, and Mississippi State University speech on campus. Only 16 schools out of each earned the honor following successful the nearly 400 FIRE rates have earned green revisions to policies that had restricted student light ratings. expression. The College of William & Mary, the University of Tennessee–Knoxville, the As a new academic year begins, students should University of Virginia, and the University of be aware that these schools are the best bets Pennsylvania are each en- for their freedom of expression, and, thus, for joying their second straight their academic future. “It’s easy for students to year as a “best school” for get caught up in the frenzy of trying to get into maintaining their strong the best-ranked schools,” said FIRE President commitments to freedom Greg Lukianoff. “But if the college you attend of expression, both in their doesn’t respect free speech, your education written policies and in their will suffer regardless of how high the college daily practice. is ranked.” 03 FALL 2012 FEDERAL COURT DELIVERS FINAL BLOW TO U. OF CINCINNATI ‘FREE SPEECH ZONE’ I n a major victory for student rights, a federal district court delivered a final ruling prohibiting the University of Cincinnati (UC) The lawsuit was coordinated by Ohio’s 1851 Center for Constitutional Law in cooperation with FIRE. from reinstating its tiny “free speech zone” in August. In the order, United States District Judge UC had been on notice that its policy was uncon- Timothy S. Black issued a permanent injunction stitutional for more than four years. FIRE named against UC’s unconstitutional restriction. Per UC’s policy our “Speech Code of the Month” in the ruling, UC may not restrict student speech December 2007, calling it “truly shameful” that in the outdoor areas of UC’s campus unless a public university “threatens students with the restriction is “narrowly tailored to serve a criminal prosecution merely for exercising their compelling University interest.” constitutionally protected rights outside of the paltry area it has designated for free speech.” As reported in the FIRE Quarterly’s Spring FIRE also wrote to UC in December 2008, issue, prior to the lawsuit, UC had required explaining that UC’s free speech zone repre- all “demonstrations, pickets, and rallies” to be sented a serious threat to liberty on campus. held in a “Free Speech Area” that comprised just In March 2012, UC topped FIRE’s annual 0.1% of the university’s 137-acre West Campus. list of the worst colleges for free speech in University policy further required that all expres- the country, published in The Huffington Post. sive activity in the free speech zone be registered with the university a full 10 working days in After the court issued a preliminary injunction advance, threatening that “[a]nyone violating against UC on July 12, the university revised this policy may be charged with trespassing.” its speech code to comply. August’s ruling will make this change permanent, securing In February, the University of Cincinnati chapter the First Amendment rights of all students on of Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) and UC’s campus. its president, student Christopher Morbitzer, sought permission to gather signatures and talk to students across campus in support of a state- wide “right to work” ballot initiative, but the request was denied. Morbitzer was told that if any YAL members were seen “walk[ing] around campus” gathering signatures, campus security would be alerted. YAL and Morbitzer filed suit on February 22, 2012, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, Western Division, challenging UC’s policy. UNIVERSITY OF CINCINNATI YOUNG AMERICANS FOR LIBERTY GROUP FALL 2012 04 cover story GREG LUKIANOFF’S NEW BOOK, UNLEARNING LIBERTY, NOW AVAILABLE F IRE Quarterly readers are well aware of how rights violations on college campuses affect students. Whether it’s an environmentalist pervade student handbooks and college websites not only misinform students about what their constitutional rights actually are—thereby student in Georgia expelled for a collage he undermining the civic benefit of education—but posted on Facebook, a they also dangerously ignore student in Indiana found or even distort the moral guilty of racial harassment for and philosophical wisdom publicly reading a book, or of basic rights like freedom student groups across the of speech. country kicked off campus for wanting to organize around By doing so, Greg argues, a shared set of beliefs, the colleges and universities fail real-world cost of censor- to serve their role as society’s ship is significant and some- “sophistication machine” for times life changing. people to become more enlightened citizens of a But, in his new book, participatory democracy. Unlearning Liberty: Campus Censorship and the End of Greg strives to answer American Debate—available the question of why, now—FIRE President Greg in a day and age when Lukianoff seeks to take the more of us are college discussion a step further, educated than ever before, arguing that censorship on the quality of our national America’s college and uni- UNLEARNING LIBERTY BY GREG LUKIANOFF dialogue seems to be at an versity campuses has broader, more insidious all-time low. What he finds is that higher consequences that are not restricted to the education—informed by a culture of censorship— boundaries of campus. fails to teach its students to become critical thinkers by supercharging ideological divisions, Drawing on a decade of experience battling for promoting “groupthink,” and encouraging an freedom of speech on campus, Greg contends unscholarly certainty about complex issues. that the over-regulation and double standards applied to speech on college campuses teaches To expose this scandal, Greg walks readers students all the wrong lessons about what it through the life of a modern-day college student, means to live in a free and democratic society. from orientation to the end of freshman year. He finds that the kind of speech codes that Through this lens, he explores some of the most 05 FALL 2012 Greg contends that the over-regulation and double standards applied to speech on college campuses teaches students all the wrong lessons about what it means to startling violations of free speech and due process rights he has seen live in a free and democratic society. and fought against in his career. Some of the cases trum for its ability to shed light on the high will be familiar to longtime FIRE Quarterly cost of campus censorship. Harvard University readers; others will serve as a shocking reminder professor Steven Pinker, author of The Blank of just how pervasive these violations are. Slate and The Better Angels of Our Nature, writes that it is an “alternately entertaining Through it all, Greg ties his campus narra- and shocking book”; University of Wisconsin– tive to what’s happening in society at large. As Madison professor Donald Downs says it is he explores public controversies involving “destined to be a classic work on freedom in Juan Williams, Rush Limbaugh, Bill Maher, America”; and renowned journalist Nat Hentoff Richard Dawkins, and Larry Summers, along adds that it is “a must read book for anyone with campus uproars in which Dave Barry and concerned about the constitutional future of Jon Stewart’s “The Daily Show” played a role, our nation.” Greg paints a stark picture of our ability as a nation to rationally discuss important issues. Unlearning Liberty is available for purchase through Amazon and Barnes & Noble and in Already, Unlearning Liberty has begun to receive bookstores nationwide. critical acclaim from across the political spec- SPEECH CODE OF THE QUARTER: ILLINOIS STATE UNIVERSITY FIRE announces its Speech Code of the Quarter: Illinois State University, FIRE’s Speech Code of the Month for September 2012. ISU’s Code of Student Conduct lists a set of “non-negotiable values,” including “civility” and “an appreciation of diversity,” and states that “when individual behavior conflicts with the values of the University, the individual must choose whether to adapt his or her behavior to meet the needs of the community or leave the University.” Constitutionally speaking, this policy is not a close call. A public university cannot exclude students whose otherwise lawful behavior does not accord with its chosen values. FALL 2012 06 rights at risk PROFESSOR TAKES PURDUE U. CALUMET TO COURT FOR REPEATED FIRST AMENDMENT VIOLATIONS F or months now, FIRE has fought for the First Amendment rights of Maurice Eisenstein, a Professor at Purdue University Calumet (PUC) its investigation, which had already lasted more than two months. Although Eisenstein was eventually found not guilty of harassment or who was subjected to months of investigations discrimination in any of nine complaints filed and numerous retaliatory charges for his exercise against him, Eisenstein was found guilty of of free speech. Eisenstein has been forced to “retaliation” on the basis of two isolated com- file a free speech lawsuit against the university in ments to faculty who had also filed complaints. an effort to clear his name. Eisenstein faced additional allegations of ha- Eisenstein has been fighting for his free speech rassment and retaliation from another faculty rights since November 2011, when he posted member after he described his case on his a photo on Facebook of “Christians killed by personal website and posted public documents a radical Muslim group,” and criticized “‘mod- that he received in response to a public records erate’ Muslims” who failed to condemn the request. These documents were the basis for attack. Numerous PUC faculty members and a complaint against Eisenstein filed in April students, some of whom had no previous 2012, despite the fact that all the informa- interactions with Eisenstein, responded by filing tion Eisenstein posted had come from publicly harassment and discrimination complaints for the available documents. Facebook comments and unspecified comments made in the classroom. One complaint was Fortunately, PUC dismissed this complaint in filed by the PUC Muslim Student Association June 2012, rightly determining its charges to “on behalf of all Muslim students” at PUC. be “not substantiated.” PUC, however, rejected FIRE’s requests and Eisenstein’s appeals to dis- FIRE wrote to PUC Chancellor Thomas L. miss the other two findings of retaliation against Keon in January 2012, explaining that Eisen- him. In May 2012, Eisenstein filed a lawsuit stein’s speech was protected by the First against PUC, the two faculty complainants, and Amendment and urging PUC to put an end to others for violating his First Amendment rights. Purdue University Calumet’s deplorable treatment of Professor Eisenstein and its atmosphere of intolerance toward dissenting opinions have deeply chilling implications for free speech. FIRE hopes PUC will recognize its er- rors and stand up for Eisenstein’s rights before becoming the latest university to lose in court for ignoring the First Amendment. PROFESSOR MAURICE EISENSTEIN 07 FALL 2012 OHIO COLLEGE SUED FOR CENSORING PRO-LIFE EVENT O n June 8, 2012, over 160 rallies were held across the country to oppose new federal mandates dealing with abortion and contracep- tion. For the Traditional Values Club (TVC) at Ohio’s Sinclair Community College (SCC), however, that rally was stifled. Despite SCC’s le- gal obligation as a public institution to uphold the PROTESTORS AT SCC HOLD THEIR SIGNS First Amendment on its campus, police ordered BEFORE POLICE TELL THEM TO PUT THEM DOWN participants and attendees to put their signs supporting the event on the ground, out of view. of students Ruth Deddens and Ethel Borel- Donohue, along with invited speaker and SCC is now the target of a First Amendment Director of Youth Outreach for Priests for Life lawsuit following the college’s brazen violation Bryan Kemper. of students’ free speech rights. The suit alleges that SCC and its Board of “Sinclair Community College’s censorship is so Trustees, college president Steven Lee Johnson, plainly unconstitutional that it’s difficult to un- and SCC’s police department maintain and derstand how campus police and administrators enforce policies that restrict expressive activity justify it even to themselves,” said FIRE Senior at SCC, give unfettered discretion to admin- Vice President Robert Shibley. “Now they’re istrators and the police to restrict student going to have to try to justify it in court.” speech, and threaten students with disciplinary or criminal charges for exercising their First FIRE wrote to SCC President Steven Lee Amendment rights. Johnson on June 15, asking SCC to disavow the censorship of TVC’s event by the campus Such censorship has apparently been taking police and to promise never to enforce such a place at SCC for more than 20 years. Accord- ban against signs in the future. SCC asked for ing to The Clarion, SCC’s student newspaper, more time to make a decision and then simply campus police have enforced a policy against reiterated its policy. signs at SCC since 1990, justifying this censor- ship through an extremely broad reading of After discussions with FIRE, the Thomas More the college’s Campus Access Policy. Society, working with Ohio attorneys Curt C. Hartman, Christopher P. Finney, and Bradley “Twenty-two years of censorship is absolutely M. Gibson, brought a lawsuit against SCC inexcusable, and Sinclair’s persistent delay has in the U.S. District Court for the Southern now prevented yet another protest,” said Shibley. District of Ohio. The suit was filed on behalf “The time for delay is over.” FALL 2012 08 rights at risk ANTI-BULLYING RULE THREATENS FREE SPEECH AT UNIVERSITY OF DELAWARE T he University of Delaware (UD) has violated its obligation to protect First Amendment rights by adopting a prohibition on “bullying” that tutional policy. “While the university is free to discourage offensive speech and expression that does not rise to the level of actual harassment or subjects students to punishment for protected threats,” we wrote, “it may not outright prohibit speech. constitutionally protected speech simply because it hurts the feelings of college students.” UD The policy, which FIRE named its “Speech did not respond to our letter. Code of the Month” in August, defines “bullying” as “[a]ny deliberately hurtful behavior, usually UD’s new policy is particularly worrisome in repeated over time, with the desired out- light of the university’s history of shameful disre- come of frightening, intimidating, excluding gard for students’ rights. In 2007, FIRE exposed or degrading a person.” Examples of bullying a shocking ideological reeducation program in include “teasing,” “ridiculing,” and the “spreading UD’s residence halls. Students were required to of rumors.” The broad wording of this policy adopt specific, university-approved views on is- makes it highly vulnerable to abuse and has the sues ranging from politics to race, sexuality, soci- potential to silence core protected speech such ology, moral philosophy, and environmentalism. as parody, satire, and political speech. Students in the residence halls were required to attend sessions with their resident advisors where “No one likes bullying, but most conduct that they were asked questions such as “When did you could be called bullying on the college level is discover your sexual identity?” Internal docu- already illegal,” said Samantha Harris, FIRE’s ments referred to the lesson plans as “treatments” Director of Speech Code Research. “This policy for students. goes much too far by prohibiting constitutionally protected speech.” UD scrapped the program following intense public pressure, but the fact that UD ever FIRE wrote to UD President Patrick Harker felt that such indoctrination was appropriate on June 29, asking him to abolish the unconsti- leaves FIRE with significant concerns over the university’s commitment to student rights. “UD’s own history of error demonstrates precisely why students’ rights must be vigorously protected,” Harris said. “A broad and vague policy like the one UD has now adopted is a violation of students’ First Amendment rights and an invitation to abuse by the public officials who run UD.” UNIVERSITY OF DELAWARE 09 FALL 2012 on campus POSTCARDS FROM THE 2012 CFN CONFERENCE T his past July, FIRE welcomed over 50 r ight: BOB CORN-REVERE middle: STUDENTS DISCUSS students from across the country to our fifth HARD ISSUES IN A BREAK annual Campus Freedom Network Conference OUT SESSION below: FIRE INTERN EMILY at Bryn Mawr College. The conference featured HARRISON speeches by several distinguished friends of FIRE, including Professor Don Downs from the University of Wisconsin–Madison, Christina Hoff Sommers of the American Enterprise Institute, and Bob Corn-Revere of Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, who is representing student Hayden Barnes in his First Amendment suit against Valdosta State University. Students also learned from FIRE staff, participated in group discussions, and heard from a panel of students involved in free speech cases at their own schools. Visit thecfn.org/conference for more highlights from the weekend! FI R E AN N O UN CES FA L L WEBI N AR SER I ES This fall, FIRE President Greg Lukianoff kicked off our webinar series by discussing his brand-new book, Unlearning Liberty, on October 17. Be sure to check thefire.org/ webinar for details on how to join us! FIRE FALL WEBINAR CALENDAR Samantha Harris Speech Codes, November 14, 3 p.m. EST Robert Shibley Due Process, December 13, 3 p.m. EST FALL 2012 10 how to reach us... 601 Walnut Street, Suite 510 Philadelphia, PA 19106 215.717.3473 tel 215.717.3440 fax www.thefire.org Facebook: facebook.com/thefireorg Twitter: @theFIREorg YouTube: youtube.com/thefireorg Google+: Search for “FIRE”! ABOUT THIS PUBLICATION The FIRE Quarterly is published four times per year by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. The mission of FIRE is to defend and sustain individual rights at America’s colleges and universities. These rights include freedom of speech, legal equality, due process, religious liberty, and sanctity of conscience—the essential qualities of individual liberty and dignity. FIRE’s core mission is to protect the unprotected and to educate the public and communities of concerned Americans about the threats to these rights on our campuses and about the means to preserve them. FIRE is a charitable and educational tax-exempt foundation within the meaning of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Contributions to FIRE are deductible to the fullest extent provided by tax laws.
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