Colorado State University

Location: Fort Collins, Colorado
Website: http://welcome.colostate.edu
Type: Public
Federal Circuit: 10th Circuit

Speech Code Rating

Colorado State University has been given the speech code rating Yellow. Yellow light colleges and universities are those institutions with at least one ambiguous policy that too easily encourages administrative abuse and arbitrary application. Read more here.

  • Colorado State University: Student Editor on Trial for Protected Speech

    October 3, 2011

    The editor of a student newspaper ran an editorial that said “Taser this…FUCK BUSH” in response to the well-known tasering incident at the University of Florida, which had occurred four days earlier. The school admonished the editor, declaring the editorial “unethical and unprofessional,” but took no further action when they found the speech was protected under the First Amendment.

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  • Colorado State University: Students Fight for Rights to Free Speech and Assembly

    March 12, 2007

    Colorado State University (CSU) completely revised three formerly unconstitutional speech codes. The changes came after student activists at CSU, with help from FIRE, pressured the university to uphold the constitutional rights of CSU students. Concerned CSU students requested help from FIRE in contesting several unconstitutional policies that restricted students’ expression and assembly on campus. FIRE wrote a letter to CSU President Larry E. Penley urging him to change three unconstitutional policies and the CSU Campus Libertarians held a rally in celebration of free speech outside of the designated “primary ‘Public Forum’ space.”  CSU then revised its unconstitutional speech codes.

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Yellow Light Policies
  • Residence Hall Policies and Procedures: Residence Life Mission & Principles 14-15

    Speech Code Category: Policies on Tolerance, Respect, and Civility

    Bigotry has no place within our community, nor does the denigration of other human beings on the basis of age, physical handicap, national origin, sexual orientation, race, gender, or religious affiliation. We do not tolerate verbal or written abuse, threats, intimidation, violence, or other forms of harassment against any member of our community. Likewise, we do not accept ignorance, anger, alcohol, or substance abuse as an excuse, reason, or rationale for such behavior. All of us who work and live in the residence hall community must be committed to these principles, which are an integral part of our purpose, values, and daily activities.

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  • General Catalog: Policies and Guiding Principles – Freedom from Personal Abuse 14-15

    Speech Code Category: Policies on Tolerance, Respect, and Civility

    The University acknowledges the right of all people to freedom from personal abuse. Abusive treatment of individuals on a personal or stereotyped basis prevents the attainment of the University objective to create and maintain an environment which supports, nurtures, and encourages people to excel in teaching, learning, and creativity. Therefore, the University deplores, condemns, and will act energetically to prevent all forms of personal abuse, including sexual harassment.

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  • Student Conduct Code: Proscribed Conduct 14-15

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies

    Abusive conduct, including physical abuse, verbal or written abuse, threats, intimidation, stalking, coercion, and/or other conduct which threatens or endangers the physical or psychological health, safety, or welfare of one’s self, another individual or a group of individuals.

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  • Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Stalking and Retaliation Policy 14-15

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies

    Harassment covered under this policy is conduct that demonstrates hostility towards a person (or a group of persons) based upon that person’s race, age, creed, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex, gender, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or pregnancy and has the purpose or effect of: … Unreasonably affecting a person’s educational or work opportunities. Harassment may take various forms, including name-calling, verbal, graphic or written statements (including the use of electronic means), or other conduct that a reasonable person would find physically threatening, harmful, or humiliating. Harassment does not have to involve the intent to cause harm, be directed at a specific target, or involve repeated incidents in order to be prohibited.

    Sexual harassment, including sexual assault, can involve persons of the same or opposite sex, and includes any unwelcome sexual advance, request for sexual favors, or other conduct of a sexual nature when: … Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s employment or academic performance or creating an intimidating, offensive or hostile environment for that individual’s employment, education or participation in a University activity.

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  • Residence Hall Policies and Procedures: Bias Motivated Crimes and Incidents 14-15

    Speech Code Category: Policies on Bias and Hate Speech

    Bias incidents are non-criminal activity against a person or property that is motivated, in whole or in part, by the offender’s bias against perceived or actual race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, ability, age, gender, gender expression, socioeconomic status or sexual orientation. Bias incidents are prohibited in the residence halls.

    Students may post decorations or message boards on no more that 50% of their exterior room door. The exterior of the door may not have any wording or material that is obscene, pornographic, bias motivated or disrespectful to the community and its members.

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  • Student Conduct Code: Proscribed Conduct 14-15

    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies

    Abuse of computer facilities or technological resources including but not limited to: … sending abusive or obscene messages or images….

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Green Light Policies
  • Freedom of Expression and Peaceful Assembly Policy 14-15

    Speech Code Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies

    Reservations are required for events that involve the assembly of more than 25 persons.

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  • Student Bill of Rights 14-15

    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression

    Colorado State University considers freedom of inquiry and discussion essential to a student’s educational development. Thus, the University recognizes the right of all students to engage in discussion, to exchange thought and opinion, and to speak, write, or print freely on any subject in accordance with the guarantees of Federal or State constitutions. This broad principle is the cornerstone of education in a democracy.

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  • Campus-media watchdogs expect free-speech chills after “Taser this….

    October 10, 2007

    By Joshua Zaffos at The Rocky Mountain Chronicle The free-speech zone of the student-center plaza at Colorado State University doesn’t look any less free these days, after Rocky Mountain Collegian Editor-in-Chief David McSwane received a formal admonishment for the September 21 editorial that read, “Taser this…FUCK BUSH.” But not everyone thinks the decisions of the university Board of Student Communications have equaled a victory for protected speech and the First Amendment. “Even though the hearing had a nominally positive outcome, the hearing itself was definitely a negative for free speech,” says Seth Anthony, a chemistry graduate student who started CSU’s […]

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  • CSU and ‘Conventions of Decency’

    October 1, 2007

    By Greg Lukianoff, The Huffington Post This Thursday, Colorado State University (CSU) junior J. David McSwane will be headed to a closed-door hearing to decide his future as editor-in-chief of the Rocky Mountain Collegian, CSU’s student newspaper. The offense? On September 21, McSwane’s paper ran a four word editorial, reading simply “Taser This: FUCK BUSH.” In response, complaints have streamed in from all over the campus and the country—and while the university at first demonstrated a principled willingness to defend the paper and McSwane, the announcement of closed-door hearings in the middle of political firestorms seldom bodes well for free […]

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  • Colo. State revises campus speech codes

    July 27, 2007

    Colorado State University has revised its campus speech codes after lobbying by student activists and the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. The university in Fort Collins revised three policies that groups said violated the First Amendment after concerns arose over restrictions on residence-hall advertising. The Fort Collins Coloradoan newspaper reported that the Campus Libertarians began requesting change in the advertising, hate-incidents and peaceful-assembly policies in fall 2006. The Campus Libertarians, while campaigning for a marijuana-legalization amendment to the state’s constitution, were denied permission to hang posters in the residence halls to support their cause. At the time, “offensive language” […]

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  • A win for free speech at CSU

    July 25, 2007

    It’s big news when a university adopts a restrictive speech code. But it’s often ignored when one is improved in response to student protests. Colorado State University’s new policies on speech, student protests and residence hall advertising are all big improvements over the restrictive policies of the past, and the university deserves great credit for making the changes. The student groups that sought the changes deserve a big chunk of the credit, as does the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), which championed the student cause. Prior policies at CSU on student protests, student speech and residence hall advertising […]

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  • Where there is smoke, there is FIRE

    July 25, 2007

    By Joe Murray at The Evening Bulletin For the First Amendment fighters employed by the Philadelphia-based Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) patrolling America’s college campuses in search of speech codes, censorship, harassment and intimidation, the summer of 2007 has been a good year. Earlier this year when the University of Rhode Island tried to punish College Republicans for holding a mock whites-only scholarship, FIRE stepped in and the First Amendment prevailed. In June, FIRE was instrumental in making sure Walter Kehowski was able to return to the classroom. The Arizona professor was suspended from teaching his class at […]

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  • Liberty lessons: Student complaints deep-six CSU speech limits

    July 23, 2007

    The Gazette Here in the United States, we make a big deal about our right to free speech, and rightfully so. It is possibly the most misunderstood of the rights guaranteed by the First Amendment. Some people seem to believe that under the First Amendment they have the right to say anything to anyone at anytime and no one can silence them. That’s not the way it works. The Supreme Court has ruled in numerous cases that the protections of the Constitution apply in instances where the government is restricting speech and even then, there are times when it is […]

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  • CSU revises some policies on free speech

    July 20, 2007

    By Taylour Nelson at The Coloradoan Colorado State University revised some of its free speech policies after students cried foul and solicited the help of a national nonprofit that supports First Amendment rights on college campuses. Changes to CSU’s advertising and “hate incidents” policies for residence halls could make the policies more lenient. CSU also clarified its policy about peaceful assembly on campus to allow it anywhere on campus as long as organizers contact the university’s event planning services before the assembly. “A lot of universities tend to keep their policies when we bring First Amendment rights to their attention, […]

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  • Lawyer talks First Amendment

    May 2, 2007

    Offending people isn’t necessarily a bad thing, said First Amendment lawyer Greg Lukianoff. “Offense is something that happens when you have your deepest beliefs challenged,” said Lukianoff, who was in the Clark Building on Tuesday night to talk about free speech on college campuses. “If you have gone to college for four years and you haven’t gotten your deepest beliefs challenged, ask for your money back.” Lukianoff works for the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, or FIRE, and tackles individual cases of violations against free speech on campuses around the nation. Lukianoff has worked with CSU in the past. […]

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  • FIRE Starter

    April 19, 2007

    Colorado State University officials say the school is committed to free speech, but some students and civil liberties advocates aren’t so sure. The discrepancy has prompted officials to form a committee to clarify speech codes and a group of student government leaders to introduce a resolution that would do away with those deemed invasive. At the behest of a handful of students—predominantly members of the campus Libertarian Party and Students for Sensible Drug Policy—the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) is lobbying administrators to lift restrictions on what they say is constitutionally protected speech. FIRE is a nonprofit group […]

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  • Making themselves heard

    April 15, 2007

    While Colorado State University has stated a commitment to honoring students’ freedom of expression, Seth Anthony says that many have begun to feel like they are no longer given the same rights as other Americans. “Many students think that it is illegal to protest on campus,” Anthony says. Which is not the case. Anthony, his Campus Libertarians and national watchdog organization Foundation for Individual Rights in Education are calling for CSU to change several of its policies that deal with freedom of speech. Seth Anthony of the Campus Libertarians says the university’s policies create a “chilling effect” around campus. In […]

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  • CSU and free speech

    April 15, 2007

    Staff Editorial, Rocky Mountain News College and university administrators dread the bad publicity they get when students who have been offended by someone’s opinions or speech express their displeasure with protests. So they go to great lengths to adopt policies that will reduce the likelihood of offense, and never mind if a few constitutional rights are trampled in the process. And what do they get for this well-intentioned devotion to sweetness and light? Bad publicity. The latest institution to learn this lesson is Colorado State University in Fort Collins, which on Wednesday afternoon hosted a free-speech rally to celebrate the […]

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  • Group for free speech rallies on CSU campus

    April 12, 2007

    A group of Colorado State University students concerned about university infringements on their Constitutional rights to free speech had a rally Wednesday on the west lawn of the Lory Student Center. Libertarian Party of Colorado State University Chairman Seth Anthony, a CSU graduate student, organized the rally—in which media members outnumbered participants—in hope of clarifying rules the university uses to regulate assemblies and posting of fliers in dormitories. The rally effort was followed up by the introduction of a resolution at Wednesday night’s Associated Students of Colorado State University meeting that asked the university’s administration to review and modify any […]

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  • Group tackles CSU free-speech policy

    April 12, 2007

    A national watchdog group that looks for First Amendment violations on college campuses has called on CSU administration to correct three “restrictive speech codes,” including the university’s hate incidents and free-speech zone policies. On Wednesday, Associated Students of CSU debated a free-speech resolution and the CSU Libertarians held a three-person rally on the West Lawn of the Lory Student Center, making a point free speech could be conducted anywhere on campus, not just the Plaza. In a letter sent to CSU President Larry Penley on March 12, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education-commonly known as FIRE-charged the university with […]

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  • ‘CSU: Pro-pot flier flap overblown’

    September 28, 2006

    By Kevin Duggan at The Coloradoan

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  • Inquiring Minds

    April 15, 2005

    By John Gravois at The Chronicle of Higher Education One morning a few weeks back, David A. Sandoval was sitting in his office at Colorado State University at Pueblo and speaking to a local reporter on the telephone. The reporter had called to get the Chicano-studies professor’s opinion on Ward Churchill, the University of Colorado at Boulder professor who had recently tripped the switch of national outrage by calling the victims of the World Trade Center bombings “little Eichmanns.” In the firebrand’s defense, Mr. Sandoval offered the standard-issue rhetoric of academic freedom: Mr. Churchill’s words were hurtful and terrible, yes, but […]

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  • Posting Policies Frequently Restrict Student Expression

    October 30, 2012

    This fall, FIRE is writing a blog series about how schools can reform their problematic speech codes and earn a “green light” rating from FIRE—a distinction currently awarded to just 16 of the more than 400 schools in our Spotlight database, but one we hope to be able to award to many more in the years to come. In this series, we are discussing common problems with campus speech codes, focusing on examples from schools that are just a few small changes away from earning a green light rating. So far, we have examined how universities restrict speech by mandating “civility,” […]

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  • CFN Member at Colorado State Slams Speech Codes, Calls for Reform

    November 18, 2009

    Last month, Colorado State University graduate student and CFN member Seth Anthony published two excellent columns in The Rocky Mountain Collegian on the problematic policies in place at Colorado State University (CSU). All Torch readers should be sure to check them out. In the first column, entitled “Free speech still at risk on campus,” Seth describes an incident from 2006, when CSU refused to allow him to post fliers in support of a state initiative to legalize possession of marijuana. With FIRE’s help, Seth was able to get the university to abandon some of its most egregious policies and the university’s speech […]

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  • Colorado State U. Newspaper May Finally Gain Independence

    April 17, 2008

    Much has happened since we last reported on the case of the controversial editorial printed earlier this academic year by Colorado State University’s Rocky Mountain Collegian. In that case, the editors published an editorial reading “Taser this…FUCK Bush”, fully within the paper’s editorial and ethical guidelines. The paper’s editor, J. David McSwane, was threatened with punishment and had to sit through a hearing process, but he was merely admonished. In November, we reported more victories for free speech at CSU. The interim president of CSU’s Board of Student Communications resigned after, as The Coloradoan reported, “withdrawing a controversial proposal that […]

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  • Victories for Free Speech at Colorado State University

    November 30, 2007

    Free speech advocates should be following the case of J. David McSwane, editor-in-chief of The Rocky Mountain Collegian at Colorado State University (CSU), whose paper ran a constitutionally protected staff editorial on September 21. The editorial included, in large print, an expletive. After complaints and calls for McSwane to be fired and the paper to be punished, free speech prevailed and CSU’s Board of Student Communications merely admonished McSwane without choosing any real punishment. Yesterday, the Rocky Mountain News reported that CSU’s Board of Student Communications voted on Tuesday that McSwane (and the leaders of other campus media) would continue […]

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  • CSU Ruling on Student Editorial Respects First Amendment Limits on Government Action

    October 5, 2007

    Yesterday, Colorado State University’s (CSU’s) Board of Student Communications (BSC) issued a ruling admonishing J. David McSwane, editor of The Rocky Mountain Collegian, for violating the newspaper’s code of ethics by using an expletive in a September 21 editorial critical of President Bush. Specifically, the BSC wrote: The Board of Student Communications admonishes you for violations of two standards specified by the BSC Manual that resulted from publication of the editorial published September 21 by the Rocky Mountain Collegian.] The Board of Student Communications determined you violated: 1) Code of Ethics, Student Media, Colorado State University, (Appendix A) — specifically […]

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  • FIRE Debates CSU Case on the Radio Today

    October 5, 2007

    The feedback from our involvement in the Colorado State University editorial case has been plentiful and thoughtful. Many FIRE readers wrote in with their thoughts on this case, and today there is an opportunity to hear more as FIRE President Greg Lukianoff debates radio host Mike Rosen on the Mike Rosen Show on 850 KOA News Radio in Denver. Click here to listen online today at 12 p.m. ET/10 a.m. MT to hear this exciting discussion!

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  • Colorado State University to Hold Hearing on Controversial Student Editorial

    October 4, 2007

    FORT COLLINS, Col., October 4, 2007—Colorado State University is set to hold a formal hearing today on charges against the editor of its student newspaper, who late last month ran an editorial that simply said, “Taser this…FUCK BUSH.” CSU’s Board of Student Communications (BSC) is considering firing Rocky Mountain Collegian editor J. David McSwane for publishing the editorial in response to the well-known tasering incident at the University of Florida four days earlier. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) is calling on CSU President Larry Edward Penley to put an immediate stop to the trial, which is an […]

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  • Hearing on Colorado State Editorial Still Set for Thursday; FIRE Weighs in for ‘Huffington Post’

    October 2, 2007

    As Thursday’s hearing for Colorado State University (CSU) student editor J. David McSwane draws near, FIRE President Greg Lukianoff spoke out against the school’s insistence on investigating McSwane in his latest entry on The Huffington Post. McSwane’s “crime” was printing an editorial in a recent issue of The Rocky Mountain Collegian that simply stated “Taser This … F*** BUSH.” As one may expect, the backlash against the publication has been severe, ranging from a significant loss of advertising revenue, causing staff layoffs, to the upcoming hearing conducted by CSU’s Board of Student Communications (BSC), at which McSwane may be fired. […]

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  • Colorado State—Second Update

    October 1, 2007

    Colorado State University’s Board of Student Communications has decided to hold a formal, private hearing on October 4 to decide the fate of the paper’s editor, David McSwane, regarding his staff’s constitutionally protected editorial. Last week I pointed out that CSU’s Board of Student Communications and Student Media Bylaws respect the First Amendment rights of the Rocky Mountain Collegian and its staff. The Board of Student Communications (BSC) should remember that the constitutional protections acknowledged in the bylaws actually trump any restrictions on speech that might be found elsewhere in the document. For example, a Code of Ethics has been […]

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  • Colorado State Update

    September 27, 2007

    On Monday, FIRE’s Samantha Harris wrote about the reaction to the “FUCK BUSH” editorial by the Rocky Mountain Collegian staff at Colorado State University. Since then, the paper’s editor, J. David McSwane, has consulted with David Lane, known for having represented Ward Churchill in his well-known case. The Northern Colorado ACLU has weighed in on behalf of the paper (see a September 24 blog entry at the link preceding), and CSU’s Board of Student Communications met yesterday—setting a meeting to discuss the case today. According to one observer of that meeting (see the September 26 blog entry at this link), “most […]

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  • Keeping an Eye on Free Speech at Colorado State

    September 24, 2007

    On Friday, Colorado State University’s student newspaper, The Rocky Mountain Collegian, published an editorial that stated, in large print, “FUCK BUSH.” While many students were likely surprised to open up their morning newspapers and find a large-print expletive, The Collegian’s pronouncement is entitled to First Amendment protection: in 1971, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the right of a Vietnam War protestor to walk into a county courthouse wearing a jacket emblazoned with the words “Fuck the Draft.” Cohen v. California, 403 U.S. 15 (1973). So while the newspaper may legitimately suffer private backlash as a result of its editorial choices—the […]

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  • FIRE in the News for July

    August 1, 2007

    The lazy days of summer must have passed us over at FIRE, for one look at our media coverage for July reveals just how busy we’ve been. The latest effort in FIRE’s Speech Codes Litigation Project, a lawsuit filed against San Francisco State University, was the subject of a syndicated Associated Press article, a news brief on Special Report with Brit Hume on FOXNews.com, and our last Campus Alert column in the New York Post before we took a summer break. Reason Online and The Chronicle of Higher Education also covered the SFSU lawsuit in nationally circulated pieces. The second […]

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  • FIRE in the Media for Colorado Cases

    July 27, 2007

    Our recent involvement in two major cases in Colorado has caught the attention of local and national media. After Greg’s commentary on the Ward Churchill case appeared on The Torch, it was picked up by the widely read Huffington Post blog. He also expressed his expectations for the case in a story in the Daily Camera in Boulder. Meanwhile, our victory at Colorado State University—where FIRE worked with student activists to change three formerly unconstitutional speech codes—was featured in a national news brief from the First Amendment Center. In Colorado, The Fort Collins Coloradoan, the Colorado Springs Gazette, and The […]

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  • ‘Denver Post’ Editorial on Colorado State University Policy Revision

    July 25, 2007

    In an editorial in today’s Denver Post, columnist Al Knight comments on the recent revision of restrictive speech codes at Colorado State University, where FIRE teamed up with student activists to bring about changes in unconstitutional policies. When FIRE reports on speech codes that exist on campuses across the country, the reaction from the public and the media is often outrage—as it very well should be. But as Mr. Knight points out, improvements made to policies that FIRE has fought to change often unfortunately go ignored in the press. One quick look at FIRE’s Spotlight or our first annual speech […]

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  • CSU Free Speech Activist Seth Anthony Speaks to Media

    July 20, 2007

    The Fort Collins Coloradoan has an article today about Colorado State University’s (CSU’s) policy changes, which we highlighted in a press release yesterday. The Coloradoan spoke with Seth Anthony, the CSU graduate student who led the successful charge for policy reform at CSU. Speaking about the revision of a policy that formerly banned “expressions of hostility,” Seth said: The expression of hostility was vaguely worded. I could say I don’t like Christians or I hate atheists and those could be expressions of hostility, but at the same time they are expressions of real personal feelings that you can have in […]

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  • Victory for Free Speech at Colorado State

    July 19, 2007

    FIRE’s press release today celebrates victory for freedom of speech at Colorado State University, where administrators have revised three formerly unconstitutional speech codes. Changes were made after CSU students, with help from FIRE, successfully pressured the university administration to rewrite its policies within constitutional strictures. As the press release describes, In February, concerned CSU students requested help from FIRE in contesting several unconstitutional policies that restricted students’ expression and assembly on campus. On March 12, FIRE wrote a letter to CSU President Larry E. Penley urging him to change three unconstitutional policies: the Peaceful Assembly at CSU policy and the […]

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  • Victory for Free Speech at Colorado State University

    July 19, 2007

    FORT COLLINS, Colo., July 19, 2007—In a resounding victory for freedom of speech, Colorado State University (CSU) has completely revised three formerly unconstitutional speech codes. The changes came after student activists at CSU, with help from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), pressured the university to uphold the constitutional rights of CSU students. “This is an exciting day for free speech at Colorado State,” FIRE President Greg Lukianoff said. “By making these changes, the administration has proven it is serious about protecting its students’ First Amendment rights, and we commend the university.” In February, concerned CSU students requested […]

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  • Colorado State: Revised Policies Still Miss the Mark

    June 15, 2007

    Colorado State University (CSU) was poised to eliminate two unconstitutional speech codes after pressure from FIRE and student activists, but FIRE was disappointed to learn this week that unconstitutional language has found its way back into the final versions of those revised policies. FIRE is asking CSU to revert to the previous drafts of the policies circulated in April, which protected students’ First Amendment rights. In February, concerned CSU students requested help from FIRE in contesting several unconstitutional policies that restricted expression and assembly on campus. On March 12, FIRE wrote a letter to CSU President Larry E. Penley urging […]

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  • Rally for Student Rights at Colorado State

    April 11, 2007

    Right about now, the Campus Libertarians at Colorado State University are holding a rally in support of free speech on campus. As we announced in a press release today, Colorado State’s general counsel recently “clarified” that the university’s “Peaceful Assembly at CSU” policy does not actually restrict free expression on campus to one small free speech zone. After we were contacted by a group of concerned CSU students, FIRE wrote to CSU on March 12 to urge the university to revise several unconstitutional policies, including the Peaceful Assembly policy, which provided that “The Lory Student Center Plaza has been designated […]

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  • Students Fight for Their First Amendment Rights at Colorado State University

    April 11, 2007

    FORT COLLINS, Colorado, April 11, 2007—Students at Colorado State University (CSU) are holding a rally today to celebrate their university’s clarification of a restrictive free speech zone policy. This rally comes after concerned students, with help from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), successfully pressured the university to make clear that free speech is the norm, rather than an exception, on campus. Unfortunately, CSU’s embrace of free speech is only partial, since the public university still maintains other policies that prohibit constitutionally protected speech. “FIRE is pleased that CSU acted so quickly to clarify one of its main […]

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  • Kaminer: No Laughing Allowed

    November 27, 2006

    FIRE Board of Advisors member Wendy Kaminer writes an engaging and thoughtful op-ed in the December 2006/January 2007 issue of Free Inquiry magazine. Kaminer draws attention to former FIRE Speech Codes of the Month, including Drexel University (September 2006) and Colorado State University (August 2006), writing: Speech codes that prohibit people from insulting each other have been widely and rightly ridiculed, but they continue to proliferate, enforcing particular notions of diversity, equality, and tolerance. Consider Colorado State University’s speech code, recently derided by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) as speech code of the month. At Colorado State, […]

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  • Speech Code of the Month: Colorado State University

    August 3, 2006

    FIRE announces its Speech Code of the Month for August 2006: Colorado State University. Colorado State University’s Residence Hall Handbook bans “hate incidents,” which it defines as: [E]xpressions of hostility against a person or property because of a person’s race, color, ancestry, national origin, religion, ability, age, gender, socio-economic status, ethnicity, or sexual orientation. Expressions of hostility… because of a person’s ability? It is a punishable offense to call someone a dumbass at Colorado State?!? On a more serious note, would the college actually punish a student for saying the school gives “rich snobs preferential treatment” (an expression of hostility […]

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