2010: The Year According to FIRE Staffers

By January 11, 2011

2010 brought with it a vast array of developments for free speech on campus, some good, others bad. At the end of each year, FIRE staffers tackle the outstanding issues from that year in a series of blog entries. For those new to FIRE, or just too busy to read the huge amount of content that FIRE produces, these blog entries (in no particular order) are a great way to get caught up with what happened on campus in the past yearand find out what’s on FIRE’s plate for 2011.

  • FIRE Co-Founder and Chairman Harvey Silverglate thanks FIRE’s staff and supporters for their invaluable work on behalf of liberty.
  • Greg Lukianoff, FIRE’s President, details FIRE’s video efforts in 2010 in a comprehensive, video-laden six-part blog series, inadvertently making a persuasive case that FIRE should have its own cable news channel.
  • Director of Legal and Public Advocacy Will Creeley discusses legal victories against "free speech zones" in Texas and speech codes in the Virgin Islands, and how they will help protect the rights of students (even in colder climates).
  • Program Officer Peter Bonilla, of both FIRE and Jeopardy! fame, can’t figure out why colleges insist on punishing adult students for uttering swear words when cursing is clearly protected by the First Amendment.
  • Associate Director of Legal and Public Advocacy Azhar Majeed highlights the growing mass of FIRE legal scholarship in order to distract you from his doppelganger’s alleged involvement in the fixing of cricket matches.
  • Development Director Alisha Glennon, Development Officer Jen Feden, and Drexel University Co-Op Amanda Gonzalez remind readers that freedom isn’t free with the top five reasons to donate to FIRE.
  • Samantha Harris, who as Director of Speech Code Research knows more about speech codes than any other person, alive or dead, brings us the Speech Code of the Year, which in an enormously unshocking development comes from University of Massachusetts Amherst, home of no fewer than five FIRE cases.
  • Joanna Brenner, Program Associate for the Public Awareness Project, gratuitously violates the 140-character Twitter limit to talk about how FIRE uses social media to spread the word about our cases and issues.
  • Azhar shows off by writing another blog entry about how the victory in Hayden Barnes’ federal court case against the former president of Valdosta State University shows that administrators may no longer be able to get away with making arguments like, "I didn’t know it was illegal to expel someone because they made a collage on Facebook that I found annoying" and then handing the bill to the taxpayers.
  • Crackerjack Drexel Co-Op Christe Thompson talks about how grateful she is that she isn’t subject to the whims of the weirdo anti-free speech fanatics who run Bucknell University.
  • Fellow Drexel-based liberty aficionado Stacy Litz celebrates how Thomas Jefferson’s legacy has returned to the University of Virginia with the elimination of all of that institution’s unconstitutional speech codes. 
  • Erica Goldberg, FIRE’s Justice Robert H. Jackson Legal Fellow, explains the Supreme Court’s frankly erroneous decision in Christian Legal Society v. Martinez, a mistake made doubly inexcusable by the Court’s refusal to admit a freezing Erica to watch the oral arguments simply because it ran out of room.
  • Program Associate Jordan Fischetti marvels at the humorless nature of administrators at colleges like Syracuse and Northwestern when it comes to Halloween costumes, the latter of whom in all seriousness sent out an e-mail warning students that costumes making fun of "real people" or "human traits" were fraught with potential offense or worse.
  • Assistant to the President Bridget Sweeney points out all the disinfecting FIRE did with the sunlight of media exposure in 2010.
  • Drexel Co-Op Thompson, evidently seeking a really good recommendation from her bosses at FIRE, returns with another blog entry pointing out that free speech zones at colleges across the country treat students who wish to express their opinions the way Old Testament folks treated lepers.

Be sure to read up on all of these great entries, and here’s wishing for a liberty-filled 2011!