Rights in the News: Threats Against Virginia Tech Paper Quick to Draw Heated Response

By on February 12, 2010

In the 24 hours since we reported on it here on The Torch, the media has pounced on Virginia Tech’s threats against the Collegiate Times student newspaper. FIRE has been quick to denounce Virginia Tech’s actions against the Times over the publication’s allowance of anonymous comments on its website, as noted by the Society of Professional Journalists and College Media Matters. The Daily Pennsylvanian is blogging about it as well, and Virginia Tech’s behavior has also captured the attention of The Washington Post. Something tells me that Virginia Tech isn’t going to get a lot of support from the newspaper business on this front—just a hunch. Stay tuned for more on this quickly developing story.

Elsewhere, The Philadelphia Inquirer noted FIRE’s victory at Temple University and the Temple administration’s decision to drop its efforts to collect unconstitutional security fees from a student group. Special thanks to Adam Baldwin (of Firefly and Chuck fame) for tweeting FIRE’s victory to his 25,000-plus followers.

Also this week, Inside Higher Ed notes FIRE’s battles with Southern Illinois University in an article about a highly unpopular proposed revision to SIU’s sexual harassment policy. Voice of San Diego, as I noted earlier in the week, has a great piece on Raj Chopra’s leadership at Southwestern College in California, including his run-in with FIRE following the suspension of four professors for joining a peaceful protest.

Finally, a new FIRE case at Binghamton University features in the current issue of the Binghamton Review. Read more about Michael Gutsell’s unfortunate treatment at the hands of Binghamton’s Department of Social Work here, and see also an article on Binghamton’s speech codes here.