Ball State University: Policy on Outdoor Expression Used to Censor Professor’s Indoor Expression

Category: Cases, Free Speech
Schools: Ball State University

On February 11, 2013, Ball State University Professor Dom Caristi was instructed by a Ball State official to remove an Italian flag hanging inside his office window. Leisa I. Julian, Associate Vice President for Business and Auxiliary Serves, cited Ball State’s Policy on the Use of University Property for Expressive Activities as the governing policy, despite the fact that the policy explicitly applied only to “temporary structures and signs out-of-doors in a designated area.”  FIRE wrote to Ball State University President Jo Ann M. Gora on April 29, 2013, pointing out that Ball State’s severe misapplication of its policy put First Amendment rights throughout the campus at risk. On May 29, 2013, Ball State agreed to let Caristi return the flag to his window and announced it would reevaluate its policies.

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  • Ball State Professor’s Flag Flies Again, Thanks to FIRE

    June 28, 2013

    Professor Dom Caristi in his officeA head-scratching case of censorship involving a telecommunications professor, an Italian flag, an office window, and a policy designed to regulate outdoor signs and structures has fortunately come to a satisfactory end at Indiana’s Ball State University.  For roughly four years, Professor Dominic Caristi, a professor in Ball State’s Department of Telecommunications, hung a flag unobtrusively in his office window. Initially, Caristi hung the Greek flag—a reference to his selection as a Fulbright scholar to Greece. Later, he replaced it with the Italian flag, a nod to his heritage. This past February 11, however, Associate […]

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