Free Speech--or Not--on Campus
I spent the weekend in Philadelphia, attending a board meeting for The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE). The bad news is that FIRE is as busy as ever, as too many universities routinely fail to live up to their promises of free speech. The good news is that FIRE wins almost all of its cases, often with as little as a letter to the administration. FIRE's president Greg Lukianoff reported a few trends, including an increase in the use of harassment rules to squelch "anti-Islamic" political speech. Overall, however, the level of "offensiveness" required to trigger school action seems to be rising. Of course, that puts FIRE in the position of defending ever-more obnoxious people in order to safeguard the rights of everyone.
Why do that? I address some of the reasons in an article in FIRE's newsletter (see page 10).
Check out FIRE's blog for specific examples of current cases, including Tufts' crusade against the campus conservative newspaper, where FIRE's opposition to blatant censorship has been joined by the Massachusetts ACLU.
As always, I encourage you to support FIRE financially. Click here to do so.