Lecture to Address Student Rights at UWEC and Beyond

January 25, 2006

EAU CLAIRE, Wis., January 25, 2006—Greg Lukianoff, interim president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), will speak at the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire (UWEC) on Wednesday, February 1. Free copies of FIRE’s Guide to Free Speech on Campus, which Lukianoff co-authored, will be available.

Lukianoff’s speech, entitled “Liberty in Danger: The All-Too-Frequent Quashing of Student Rights at UWEC and Nationwide,” will take place at 8 p.m. in UWEC’s Schofield Auditorium. In the speech, Lukianoff will discuss UWEC’s nationally notorious RA “Bible study ban,” which FIRE originally brought to light late last year, as well as several other abuses at UWEC and on other campuses.

“UWEC’s habit of trampling student rights is abhorrent but not unique,” said Lukianoff. “The frequent denial of students’ expressive rights is a nationwide scandal, and I look forward to speaking about it in detail at UWEC.”

FIRE’s public exposure of UWEC’s unconstitutional practice of banning resident assistants (RAs) from leading Bible studies in their dormitories has earned the university nationwide infamy. Prior to that, FIRE protested the UWEC Student Senate’s unconstitutional attempt to ban student-fee funding of “ideological, religious, or partisan” activities and to deny recognition to The Flip Side Press, a progressive student magazine, on the grounds that it was “biased.” FIRE also intervened when UWEC proposed to exclude religious activities from its “service learning” requirement.

The Flip Side is sponsoring Lukianoff’s speech. As the event is a fundraiser for the magazine, tickets are required, but members of the media may attend for free.

Lukianoff has been with FIRE since 2001, when he was hired to be FIRE’s first director of legal and public advocacy. He is a graduate of American University and of Stanford Law School, where he focused on First Amendment and constitutional law. His work experience includes practicing law in Northern California as well as stints at the ACLU of Northern California, the Organization for Aid to Refugees in Prague, the Council for International Exchange of Scholars, and the EnvironMentors Project.

Lukianoff has published articles in The Stanford Technology Law Review, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Inside Higher Ed, The Boston Globe, and numerous other publications. He is also a regular columnist for the Daily Journal of Los Angeles and San Francisco. A frequent guest on local and national syndicated radio programs, Lukianoff has represented FIRE on national television shows—including The Abrams Report, Hannity and Colmes, and Buchanan and Press—and has testified before the U.S. Senate about free speech issues on America’s campuses.

“We are thrilled that Greg Lukianoff has agreed to speak at UWEC,” remarked UWEC student Sara Adams, who serves as director of development for the Flip Side. “The Flip Side is very excited to sponsor discussion of issues relevant to our campus and the community.”

FIRE is a nonprofit educational foundation that unites civil rights and civil liberties leaders, scholars, journalists, and public intellectuals from across the political and ideological spectrum on behalf of individual rights, due process, freedom of expression, academic freedom, and rights of conscience at our nation’s colleges and universities. FIRE’s efforts to preserve liberty on campuses across the United States can be viewed at thefire.org.

CONTACT:
Charles Mitchell, Program Officer, FIRE: 215-717-3473; charles@thefire.org
Sara Adams, Director of Development, The Flip Side: adamssa@uwec.edu

Schools: University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire Cases: University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire: Ban on RAs’ Leading Bible Studies University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire: Unconstitutional Student Fee Funding Amendment