Location: New Brunswick, New Jersey
Federal Circuit: 3rd Circuit
Rutgers University – New Brunswick 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.
April 20, 2012
In April 2011, as part of its annual April Fools’ edition, Rutgers student satire publication The Medium published a fake editorial titled “What about the good things Hitler did?”, jokingly attributed to another student columnist known on campus for his frequent commentary on the Arab-Israeli conflict. Rutgers President Richard L. McCormick denounced the article and announced that the school had launched an investigation of its publication as a possible “bias incident.” Just days after FIRE sent a letter to Rutgers airing our concerns and hours after FIRE publicized the investigation, Rutgers notified FIRE that the administration would not punish The […]» Read More
December 27, 2002
The InterVarsity Multi-Ethnic Christian Fellowship at Rutgers University was banned from campus because of its rule that "leaders must seek to adhere to biblical standards and belief in all areas of their lives." Rutgers ruled that allowing a religious student group to select its leadership on the basis of religion constituted discrimination. FIRE wrote to the president of Rutgers, to the members of the Board of Trustees and Board of Governors, and to the university’s major donors, urging the administration to undo the damage to the Fellowship. FIRE Legal Network attorney David A. French also filed a lawsuit against Rutgers […]» Read More
College Avenue Campus - A designated free speech area is located on the steps between the main entrance of Brower Commons Dining Hall and Stonier Hall on College Avenue. The space also extends back to the Records Hall courtyard.
Cook Campus - A designated free speech area is located in the middle of the Newell Apartments.
Livingston Campus - A designated free speech area is located on the patio of the Livingston Student Center.
Douglass Campus - A designated free speech area is the patio and grass area on the Nichol Avenue side of the Douglass Campus Center.
1. Use of force against the person or property of any member of the university community or against the person or property of anyone on university premises, or the threat of such physical abuse. (Verbal assault may be prosecuted as a "threat of...physical abuse.")
3. Bullying, intimidation, and harassment: a person acts with the purpose to bully, intimidate, and harass
* Making, or causing to be made, a communication or communications (including the use of
electronic and/or social media) anonymously or at extremely inconvenient hours, or in
offensively coarse language, or any other manner likely to cause annoyance or alarm; or
* Subjecting another to striking, kicking, shoving, or other offensive touching, or threatening to do
* Engaging in any other course of alarming conduct or of repeatedly committed acts with purpose
to alarm or seriously annoy such other person,
such that the behavior substantially disrupts or interferes with the orderly operation of the institution or
the rights of other students to participate in or benefit from the educational program.
December 24, 2005
Scratch many of the administrators in charge on American campuses these days and you often find a neo-Stalinist who has no hesitation about suppressing views that deviate from leftist orthodoxy. If you doubt me, try supporting Christianity or conservatism in a public way in the ivy covered groves of American academe. Take California State University at San Bernadino, for example, where administrators refuse to charter the Christian Students Association because the group thinks its members should be professing Christians. Imagine that! The group ‘would not be required to admit members who did not support the purpose of the organization (beliefs),’ […]» Read More
December 18, 2004
This fall four new studies of professors’ political attitudes showed a large tilt to the left: • Daniel Klein, an economics professor and researcher at Santa Clara University and Stockholm University, surveyed more than 1,000 professors around the United States and found Democrats outnumbering Republicans at least 7-1 in the humanities and social sciences, with departments such as anthropology and sociology coming in at about 30-1. • In a separate study of voter registration records, Mr. Klein found professors at Stanford and the University of California-Berkeley tilted Democratic 9-1. Among younger professors at those two universities the imbalance was even […]» Read More
January 1, 2004
PHILADELPHIA — One out of four college students in a nationwide survey was unable to name any of the freedoms protected by the First Amendment, according to a free-speech watchdog group.“These survey results are disheartening, but they unfortunately are not surprising,” says Alan Charles Kors, president of the nonprofit Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE).Even among campus administrators who were surveyed, from presidents to assistant deans, 11 percent couldn’t name any specific First Amendment rights, the survey indicated. And when asked which freedom the amendment addresses first, only 2 percent of the students and 6 percent of the administrators […]» Read More
January 28, 2001» Read More
March 10, 2014
Here at FIRE, we’ve dubbed the spring “disinvitation season,” because among the many invitations extended for college and university commencement speakers, there are an increasing number of speakers subsequently disinvited because of their viewpoints, professions, or life choices. Last year, I wrote about the phenomenon in mid-May amidst a flurry of disinvitations, but this year things are getting off to an earlier start, as FIRE President Greg Lukianoff notes in The Huffington Post today.» Read More
February 19, 2014
The Daily Targum, a student newspaper at Rutgers University, has recently been under scrutiny because of the amount of influence the paper’s Board of Trustees exerts over the student staff. The Board acts as an advisory panel and, according to College Media Matters, has the ability to cut out articles and opinion pieces they dislike. (FIRE’s Catherine Sevcenko explained the problem with this last Thursday.)» Read More
February 13, 2014
The Soviet Union was said to operate on a system of “telephone justice”: a judge would hold a trial and then call the local Communist Party boss to find out if the defendant should be found guilty or not. It appears that The Daily Targum, Rutgers University’s student paper, operates on a similar system of “telephone editorial policy.”» Read More
May 1, 2012
On Friday, I blogged about Rutgers University’s bias investigation of the student satire publication The Medium for jokingly attributing a fake article praising Adolf Hitler to another student. As we made clear in the letter we sent Rutgers, punishing the protected expression of The Medium—or even allowing the impression to take hold that such expression was punishable—would be an impermissible violation of the paper’s First Amendment rights. Hardly had my entry gone live on our website, however, when FIRE received a response from Rutgers Assistant General Counsel Sarah Luke, responding in relevant part: The university very scrupulously addresses First Amendment […]» Read More
April 27, 2012
Last week, we pointed to a piece penned by former FIRE intern Alex Lewis in The Daily Targum, Rutgers University’s main campus newspaper, in response to a controversial “bias investigation” of The Medium, a weekly satirical Rutgers newspaper. Now, The Star Ledger (Newark, New Jersey) is covering the incident as well, in a piece that quotes Alex and draws further attention to the controversy. The Star-Ledger summarized the investigation: The flap began when the campus satirical publication, the Medium, ran a parody of the work of a columnist at the Rutgers Targum. The columnist, Aaron Marcus, writes frequently on the […]» Read More
April 20, 2012
In his column for the The Daily Targum this semester, former FIRE intern and Rutgers University senior Alex Lewis has written two articles making “A case for free speech” at Rutgers. In the first article, published last month, Alex wrote about the philosophy of free speech and why it is important not to censor speech, even if some find it offensive: The government of our country has been humble enough to presume that no ideological stripe, or theory, or school or dogma is inherently “better” or “more right” than any other. The only ethic the First Amendment embraces is that […]» Read More
Renewed Focus on New Jersey’s Anti-Bullying Law, But Little Recognition of Impact on College Student Speech
September 9, 2011
Last week, The New York Times published a front page story on New Jersey’s new anti-bullying law, which took effect on September 1. In the article, reporter Winnie Hu documents complaints about the law’s requirements, which some school district officials throughout the state have found to be expensive, confusing, and burdensome. Hu reports: The law, known as the Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights, is considered the toughest legislation against bullying in the nation. Propelled by public outcry over the suicide of a Rutgers University freshman, Tyler Clementi, nearly a year ago, it demands that all public schools adopt comprehensive antibullying policies […]» Read More
August 8, 2011
In 2006, FIRE wrote about Rutgers University–New Brunswick and its Orwellian “Bias Prevention Steering Committee.” The mission of the various deans, administrators, and staff members who comprised the committee was to monitor reported acts of bias which, startlingly, included “cultural conflicts” defined by the University as “disagreements, arguments, or controversies that developed due to the cultural differences, backgrounds and lifestyles of the disputants in the conflict.” By 2010, the Steering Committee had evolved into the Bias Prevention Education Committee (BPEC), but retained its unconstitutional program of policing protected expression by targeting hazily defined instances of “cultural conflicts” and “inappropriate language.” […]» Read More