MS State joins elite group

June 25, 2012

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education is proud of Mississippi State University for being among an elite group of schools nationwide to earn a "green light" designation, FIRE’s highest rating.

Robert Shibley, senior vice president for FIRE, explains that only 17 schools nationwide have earned the green light rating, which requires that an institution has no restrictions or rules against student speech.

"In many cases, those rules have to do with establishing free-speech zones, which are limited geographical areas where students can speak freely; speech codes, where students are told they can’t say certain things — other sorts of restrictions," he details. "And Mississippi State, we’re happy to say, has eliminated all of those restrictions."

Shibley asserts than an overwhelming number of schools are inhibiting students’ constitutionally protected free speech, though a growing number are shedding speech restrictions.

"Just a few years ago, there were only ten or eleven. I think actually [in] our first report there were only four," he recalls. "So it’s been growing, and I think the pace has been growing as universities are discovering that my organization, FIRE, is good to work with and that letting your students have the freedoms that the Constitution guarantees them is really not that big a tragedy."

FIRE is a nonprofit organization that advances individual rights, freedom of expression, due process, and academic freedoms on college campuses nationwide.

Schools: Mississippi State University