Florida International University: Racial and Ethnic Restrictions for Class Enrollment

Category: Free Speech, Freedom of Conscience
Schools: Florida International University

Florida International University (FIU), maintained ethnicity and race requirements for certain language classes. For example, certain Spanish courses limited enrollment to “Hispanic bilinguals educated in the U.S….whose mother tongue is Spanish,” “U.S. Hispanic bilinguals,” and “U.S. Hispanic Bilinguals Only.”; When informed of this policy FIRE explained its immorality and unconstitutionality to the administration. Following FIRE’s lengthy and quiet involvement, the policy was revised.

There is currently no media coverage for this case.
  • Florida International University Upholds Legal Equality: Abandons Racial and Ethnic Requirements for Language Courses

    February 6, 2002

    MIAMI, FL—Florida International University (FIU), responding to FIRE, has issued a strong and unqualified defense of legal equality. Addressing the concerns raised by FIRE President Alan Charles Kors, who challenged a racial and ethnic requirement for several language courses, FIU General Counsel Thomas Mead Santoro made changes to the requirements for the courses to ensure that FIU complies with its ethical obligations, not to mention its obligations to federal and state statutes and regulations, and to the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. In September 2001, a student contacted FIRE with concerns […]

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  • Letter from Florida International University General Counsel Thomas Mead Santoro to FIRE, December 12, 2001

    December 12, 2001

    December 12, 2001 Office of the General Counsel Via Facsimile 215-717-3440 & U.S. Mail Alan Charles Kors President Greg Lukianoff, Esq. Director of Legal and Public Advocacy Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, Inc. 437 Chestnut Street, Suite 200 Philadelphia, PA 19106 Gentlemen: Confirming my several conversations with Mr. Lukianoff, and following up on my letter of October 12, 2001, my clients have agreed to include native speakers “or equivalent” in the catalog course descriptions plus “or permission of instructor”. Accordingly, we propose to change the course descriptions as follows: SPN 2340 Intermediate Spanish for Native Speakers I Intensive Spanish […]

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  • FIRE Letter to Florida International University President Modesto A. Maidique, September 5, 2001

    September 5, 2001

    September 5, 2001 Modesto A. Maidique President Florida International University 11200 SW 8th Street PC 528 Miami, FL 33199 Dear President Maidique, As you can see from our Directors and Board of Advisors, FIRE unites civil rights and civil liberties leaders, scholars, journalists and public intellectuals across the political and ideological spectrum on behalf of liberty, due process, voluntary association, freedom of speech, academic freedom, and—in the matter of certain courses in your Department of Modern Languages—legal equality on America’s college campuses. Our webpage, www.thefire.org, will give you a fuller sense of our identity and activities. I am writing on […]

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