‘Daily Wildcat’ on University of Arizona’s Red-Light Speech Codes

By February 10, 2011

Writing for the University of Arizona (UA) student newspaper the Arizona Daily Wildcat, Eliza Molk highlights FIRE’s certified national mailing to colleges and universities at the end of last year regarding important developments in the case law in 2010 and discusses UA’s red-light speech codes. Molk’s article points out that UA was one of 296 public institutions nationally to receive our most recent certified mailing in the wake of important legal victories for free speech such as Smith v. Tarrant County College District and McCauley v. University of the Virgin Islands.

Hopefully UA can follow the example of its rival in Tempe: As Molk discusses, Arizona State University very recently revised its last remaining speech code and became the latest green-light institution. Molk cites our own Samantha Harris on UA’s prospects for similar reform:

Arizona State University eliminated their advertising policy excluding certain types of controversial expression on Feb. 1. They are now one of 14 schools with a "green light" rating from the foundation.

"FIRE certainly hopes that the U of A will change its policies since, as a public university, it is legally bound to protect its students’ First Amendment rights," Harris said. She also said the organization is eager to work with any UA students interested in urging the university to make the needed reforms.

Kathryn Adams Riester, the assistant dean of students, said the UA is currently looking into the foundation’s requests, although she could not make any further comments.

Here’s hoping for the necessary changes to UA’s speech codes to bring the university into compliance with the First Amendment. Thanks to Eliza Molk and the Arizona Daily Wildcat for their attention to this important topic.