Location: Mount Pleasant, Michigan
Federal Circuit: 6th Circuit
Central Michigan University has been given the speech code rating Red. A red light university has at least one policy that both clearly and substantially restricts freedom of speech. Read more here.
October 10, 2008
In a victory for freedom of expression and freedom of association, Central Michigan University (CMU) agreed to provide security for a speech by author and conservative activist David Horowitz hosted by Campus Conservatives, the Young Americans for Freedom chapter at CMU. CMU had initially refused to provide security without imposing an excessive financial burden on the club. FIRE wrote CMU President Michael Rao, urging CMU to meet its constitutional obligation not to financially burden speech that others might find offensive. FIRE’s letter pointed out that the Supreme Court has declared such burdens unconstitutional.» Read More
March 16, 2007
In an important victory for free association, Central Michigan University (CMU) has revised a policy that absurdly banned ideological and political groups from “discriminating” on the basis of “political persuasion.” FIRE urged CMU to change this policy after students hostile to the mission of the Young Americans for Freedom student group attempted to become members of the group in order to destroy it from the inside. FIRE informed CMU that freedom of association includes the right to exclude members who do not subscribe to a group’s mission. Thanks to FIRE’s intervention, CMU has rewritten its policy, informed student groups of […]» Read More
October 23, 2001
At Central Michigan University, an administrator told several students to remove various patriotic posters (an American flag, an eagle, etc.) from their dormitory. On October 8, a Residential Advisor told them that their display was "offensive," and that they had until the end of the day to remove the items. As one student said, "American flags or pictures that were pro-American had to be taken down because they were offensive to people." FIRE brought the case to the attention of CMU’s President, Michael Rao and soon after, the University reaffirmed its obligations to the First Amendment and expressed regret at […]» Read More
Red Light Policies
... (iii) Such conduct or communication has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual's employment, public accommodations or public services, education, or housing, or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive employment, public accommodations, public services, education, or housing environment.
DEMONSTRATING occurs on the campus, it must be conducted in a manner which preserves the
safety of all persons and property.
B. DEMONSTRATING is permitted on the campus outside of University buildings, subject to the
following restrictions and limitations:
1. DEMONSTRATING is permitted after 6:30 a.m. and before 8 p.m.
2. DEMONSTRATING is permitted after 8 p.m. and before 6:30 a.m.:
a. Starting 30 minutes before any University sponsored event and lasting until 30
minutes after a University sponsored event (other than a class) no farther than 300
feet from the site of the University sponsored event or of the location of the
University building in which the University sponsored event takes place.
b. If the person or group registers with the University's Vice President of Facilities
Management, or designee. To register, the person or representative must provide
his/her name, address and phone number and the name of the group (if any)
DEMONSTRATING and the approximate time(s) and location(s) of the
April 9, 2007
It’s well known that you don’t have the right to yell “fire” in a crowded theater when there is none. But yelling “FIRE!” is precisely what one must do when one’s free speech rights are in danger on a college campus. FIRE is the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education—a Philadelphia-based legal advocacy group that goes to bat for students whose rights to free speech and association are curtailed illegally by college administrators and policies gone horribly awry. FIRE’s list of accomplishments is ever-growing, but here are just a couple of the latest: – At Central Michigan University, liberal opponents […]» Read More
April 25, 2012
Just before a talk on campus by members of the Westboro Baptist Church on Monday, Central Michigan University student Ryan Fitzmaurice published an insightful op-ed in Central Michigan Life titled, “Why I Love the Westboro Baptist Church.” After clarifying that he does not actually love the Westboro Baptist Church, he explains that what he loves is their First Amendment right to participate in the American “conversation”: America is a conversation, but not a polite dinner conversation. Our nation’s conversation is passionate, convoluted, confused, messy, explosive, eccentric, sometimes angry, increasingly odd, and most of the time, wildly off topic. It’s a […]» Read More
April 18, 2011
In April 2007, FIRE won an important victory when Central Michigan University (CMU) reversed a policy banning ideological and political groups from “discriminating” on the basis of “political persuasion.” The case holds important lessons for freedom of association on campus that remain particularly relevant in light of last year’s 5-4 Supreme Court decision in Christian Legal Society v. Martinez. The controversy at CMU began with a student effort to derecognize the school’s chapter of Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) because of the group’s unpopular views. When this effort failed, students began to disrupt YAF meetings and created a Facebook group […]» Read More
September 11, 2007
Today, FIRE joins individuals across America and around the world in reflecting upon the tragic events of September 11, 2001. As university students and professors from Maine to California host commemorations today to remember those who suffered and died six years ago, we take a moment to look back at how those events played out on campus in the immediate aftermath of the attacks, and how their legacy continues to affect us today. In the wake of the tragedy, FIRE was called on to defend liberty on campus as many universities reacted to the cataclysmic circumstances with sometimes shocking […]» Read More