Ending 2005 in Style

By on December 30, 2005

The days between Christmas and New Year’s are often seen as a “dead zone,” especially with regard to nonprofits. Not so for FIRE though: we’ve kept shining sunlight on campus repression even in otherwise sleepy late December. Just to pick a couple of examples of the coverage we have gotten in the past few days, Mike Lafferty of the Orlando Sentinel recently lauded FIRE’s intervention at Stetson University and Jay Ambrose did the same regarding our efforts at Cal State San Bernardino (CSUSB) in his nationally syndicated column.

Ambrose’s column, which is now running in newspapers across the country, eviscerated all sorts of restrictions on speech but especially the abuse of campus nondiscrimination policies to silence religious groups. As he points out:

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education recently reported on its Web site how California State University at San Bernardino “refused to recognize a Christian student organization for requiring its members to live according to the group’s religious faith.” Think about that for a minute.

That comment by Ambrose is exactly what censors like the administrators at CSUSB (and, as we pointed out in our press release, so many other schools) deserve: scorn. Their position is self-evidently ridiculous.

And so is the conduct of Stetson University. Take it from Lafferty’s column on that case, which begins as follows:

Here is the quote I was greeted with after logging onto Stetson University’s Web site earlier this week:

The open exchange of ideas creates a foundation for success.

Very inspiring.

And, at the moment, a little ironic.

Stetson is getting a well-deserved earful from a national free-speech organization that accuses the school of repressing the very exchange of ideas it purports to value.

The whole thing is very much worth a read—especially if you need to hear the facts of the case again. Lafferty reviews them and proves exactly why the earful Stetson is receiving is so “well-deserved.”

And while you’re at it, why not peruse FIRE’s In the News page, which contains many more articles like these two? The kind of praise Ambrose and Lafferty are heaping upon FIRE is not unique to the holiday season. We’ve been getting it from members of the media all year, and it’s encouraging to read through it again as we prepare for the battles to come in 2006.