Rights in the News: Recent Victories and Ongoing Speech Code Efforts Continue to Get FIRE’s Message Across

By on February 6, 2009

For yet another week, word of FIRE’s efforts has reverberated throughout the national and online press. As Azhar noted earlier today, Greg’s latest column for The Huffington Post expresses FIRE’s relief at the dropped "spamming" charges against Michigan State University junior Kara Spencer, but also notes our concern that the online policy Spencer was initially found guilty of violating remains in effectand thus keeps Michigan State on FIRE’s Red Alert list.

As Erin wrote earlier this week, FIRE figured prominently in two pieces in The Boston Herald; the first highlighting the candidacy of FIRE Co-founder and Chairman Harvey Silverglate for Harvard University’s Board of Overseers; the second drawing attention to FIRE’s efforts in the New England areaincluding at the University of New Hampshire, Brandeis University, and Tufts University.

Our recent victory at Penn State Universityin which President Graham Spanier agreed to revise the preamble to the "Penn State Principles"has been noted on the blog of Students for Liberty, as well as the blog Onward State, a student blog focusing on the affairs of the Penn State community. Onward State thanks FIRE for our efforts at reforming the "Principles," and we’re glad to have their help informing the more than 40,000 students of Penn State’s University Park campus of this important victory for their free speech rights.  

In other assorted news, University World News, a publication covering worldwide trends and issues in higher education, highlighted FIRE’s speech code efforts this week, and WorldNetDaily prominently featured FIRE in a story about a recent speech controversy at Brandeis Universitythis time emanating from the university’s development and alumni relations office. Be sure to read that and the rest of our recent coverage of Brandeis as conditions on campus become ever more fragile.

Finally, a reminder that Greg and Will are representing FIRE at the conference of the Association for Student Judicial Affairs in Clearwater Beach, Florida today. Their presentation, entitled "From DeJohn to Notre Dame vs. The Klan: FIRE presents Campus Rights 2008," is sure to be a hot topic of conversation, and we’ll have plenty more to report from the conference next week.   

Schools: Brandeis University Michigan State University Pennsylvania State University – University Park