We’re very excited to welcome a new member to the FIRE team. Adam Kissel joins FIRE as Director of the Individual Rights Defense Program. Here, Adam shares a bit about his own experiences and how they led him to become a staunch defender of liberty on campus:
I became interested in issues of individual rights in the early 1990s, when I was a college student at an Ivy League university that had become overwhelmed by pressures for “political correctness.” Woe to anyone who departed from the campus’s newest orthodoxies! The pressures were mostly social, but my own speech was actively censored was when I was writing halftime shows for the university’s band. The full text of every show had to be approved by the dean of students. In an English class where I was the only male and male-bashing was the norm, I knew that I would depart from radical feminism in my final paper only at my peril. When I read The Shadow University some years later, I knew just what the authors were talking about. In graduate school I hosted an event where Alan Charles Kors and Harvey Silverglate faced off against a fellow student arguing that “political correctness” was mostly a myth. But over the past fifteen years, I have witnessed or learned of countless episodes of unjust restrictions against individuals on university campuses nationwide. Since FIRE’s inception I have watched FIRE win case after case on issues including, as well as beyond, censorship and punishment of unpopular speech, and it is now an honor to be contributing to FIRE’s mission.
Torch readers can expect to see much more from Adam on these pages in the months to come. For now, please join us in welcoming him to FIRE!