Stanford University

Location: Stanford, California
Website: http://www.stanford.edu
Type: Private
Federal Circuit: 9th Circuit

Speech Code Rating

Stanford 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.

Yellow Light Policies
  • Acts of Intolerance Protocol 13-14

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

    For the purpose of this protocol, an act of intolerance is conduct that adversely and unfairly targets an individual or group on the basis of one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics:

    • Gender or gender identity
    • Race or ethnicity
    • Disability
    • Religion
    • Sexual orientation
    • Nationality
    • Age
    • Social or economic class

    Acts of intolerance that do not rise to the level of a hate crime may involve constitutionally protected speech. Engaging in constitutionally protected expressive activities will not subject a student to discipline under the Fundamental Standard. The University may respond to acts of intolerance through education.

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  • Office of Community Standards: The Fundamental Standard 13-14

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

    Students at Stanford are expected to show both within and without the University such respect for order, morality, personal honor and the rights of others as is demanded of good citizens. Failure to do this will be sufficient cause for removal from the University.

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  • Student Activities and Leadership: White Memorial Plaza 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies

    White Plaza is a Stanford University space available for programs, speeches, rallies, information tables, banners and posters. It is considered a “free speech area” on campus. … Events in White Plaza must be organized by University entities (student groups, departments, and programs) and require prior approval from Student Activities and Leadership (SAL). … 2 days minimum deadline for event request for simple events that involve items such as rallies, protests, and speakers.

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Green Light Policies
  • Sexual Harassment 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression

    Stanford is committed to the principles of free inquiry and free expression.

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  • Sexual Harassment 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies

    Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other visual, verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when: … The conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s academic or work performance or creating an intimidating or hostile academic, work or student living environment.

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  • Computer Network and Usage Policy 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies

    Users must not send, view or download fraudulent, harassing, obscene (i.e., pornographic), threatening, or other messages or material that are a violation of applicable law or University policy. In particular, contributing to the creation of a hostile academic or work environment is prohibited.

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  • Stanford Relents Somewhat Toward Pro-Traditional Marriage Society

    March 25, 2014

    By Alec Torres at National Review Online When the Stanford Anscombe Society (SAS) — devoted to promoting discussion on marriage, the family, and sexual integrity — was denied university funding for a pro-traditional marriage conference deemed “hate speech” by the campus community, the university added insult to injury by tacking on a $5,600 security fee to post ten security personnel at the conference. Only after SAS decried the action, calling it a “tax on free speech” and the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) sent a letter to the school did Stanford “find” the funds to pay for security personnel they imposed upon the […]

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  • Stanford ‘finds funds’ for pro-family conference after fight with conservative student group

    March 24, 2014

    by Kaitlyn Schallhorn at Campus Reform Stanford’s Anscombe Society had funding for its conservative conference withdrawn by the graduate student council at the behest of LGBT groups. The university told the Anscombe Society that they could still hold an event if they paid a $5,600 security fee. Stanford now says it will foot the bill for security. Stanford University has “found the funds” to pay for a 10-person security detail for a student organization’s upcoming conservative conference after initially asking the group to front thousands of dollars just two weeks prior to the event. Between a last minute retraction of funding and imposing […]

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  • Stanford to fund anti-marriage equality event after claims of censorship

    March 24, 2014

    by  James Hardy at Deseret News National After complaints that Stanford University was at risk of violating students’ First Amendment protections, school administrators agreed to pay the high cost of security for a controversial student-organized conference titled “Communicating Values” taking place next month. The student group organizing the April conference, Stanford Anscombe Society, describes the event as a chance to “engage in intellectual and civil discourse about the issues of marriage, family and sexual integrity.” The American Conservative reported that the event will promote ideas in opposition to marriage equality for all sexual orientations, which is a hot-button topic on the Stanford campus. […]

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  • Stanford gives up on using ‘security costs’ to cancel conservative students event

    March 22, 2014

    By Joel Gehrke at Red Alert Politics Conservative students at Stanford University won’t have to pay thousands of dollars in “security costs” to host an event on traditional marriage views, as the administration reversed course after the student group accused them of trying to tax free speech. Stanford made it sound as if the policy change took place after administration officials found unexpected $20 bills in their laundry. “Hi everyone. Found more funds to subsidize the full cost of the security, ” Nanci Howe, Associate Dean of Students and Director of Student Activities and Leadership, wrote in a Thursday email to the […]

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  • Stanford So Smart Even Its Rapists Are Logical

    July 21, 2011

    A Stanford University student accused of sexual assault in an incident that the Palo Alto police and prosecutor investigated and declined to pursue nevertheless was convicted by a student court under relaxed evidence standards introduced by U.S. Department of Education.  In the Rupert Murdoch-owned New York Post, Princeton alumna Samantha Harris reports that the student court – which I guess is what you would get if you replaced kangaroos with students in a kangaroo court – changed its standard mid-trial, in response to a letter from Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR):  At the time the student was […]

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  • The feds’ mad assault on campus sex

    July 19, 2011

    New York Post On campus today, if you hook up with your date (or even your wife) after she’s had a few drinks, you’re often automatically guilty of sexual assault. In the real world, drinking doesn’t necessarily destroy your freedom of choice. Many US colleges and universities, however, believe it renders you unable to consent to sex. At Stanford University, “intoxicated” students can’t consent to sexual contact. At Princeton, you need only be “under the influence” of alcohol to lose your ability to consent — which surely makes many a student both the victim and perpetrator of sexual assault. The […]

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  • Washington Post: Stanford Ed School Hounds Blogger

    July 24, 2009

    Jay Mathews of The Washington Post has a great column on the Stanford University Teacher Education Program’s (STEP’s) shameful treatment of a dissenting student blogger, Michele Kerr. Michele’s Kerr’s strange odyssey began shortly after she was admitted to STEP in 2008, when Kerr attended an open house for admitted students. When asked, she said that she did not entirely agree with what she perceived to be STEP’s “progressive” approach to education, but that she intended to learn from STEP and keep an open mind. That apparently wasn’t close enough to the party line for STEP Director Rachel Lotan, who soon […]

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  • They Messed With the Wrong Blogger

    July 24, 2009

    Michele Kerr (she tells me it is pronounced “cur”) is a hard-working educator and Web surfer who is often mean to me. This is probably a good thing. When I post something stupid, Kerr—using her nom de Internet, “Cal Lanier”—is on me like my cat chasing a vole in the backyard. Her acidic humor is so entertaining, however, and her command of the facts so complete, that I have come to look forward to her critiques. She tends to eviscerate me whenever I embrace anti-tracking or other progressive gospel preached in education schools these days, but I learn something each […]

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  • Stanford Review Indicted

    February 6, 2006

    Stanford’s Organizational Conduct Board (OCB) started a formal investigation of The Stanford Review after the publication distributed door-to-door throughout dorms in the eastern part of campus on Saturday, January 21, 2006. Jane Camarillo, Director of Residential Education (ResEd) filed a complaint with the OCB, alleging that several members of The Review openly violated the Soto, Serra House, Trancos, and Larkin North and West distribution policies. All of these residences officially do not allow door-to-door distribution in their halls. Meanwhile, the University’s General Counsel has begun to discuss the legality of the current policy with ResEd. Many believe that disallowing door-to-door […]

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  • Trustee Election at Dartmouth Is Seen as ‘Battle for Academic Freedom’

    May 5, 2005

    Elections of trustees to college and university boards are generally a snooze. Not so at Dartmouth College, where an alumni vote for two slots on the Board of Trustees has featured as much drama as a mudslinging congressional campaign. The results of the election will be released in the next few weeks. Dartmouth alumni choose seven members of the college’s 17-trustee board. With two seats open this year, the Alumni Council, a body composed mostly of class and alumni-group leaders, selected a slate of four candidates for the election. However, two dark-horse candidates have mounted successful petition campaigns to get […]

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  • Big mandate on campus

    September 17, 2002

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  • Stanford Covers Security Fee, But Viewpoint Discrimination Remains

    March 21, 2014

    FIRE received word yesterday evening that Stanford would cover the costs of security after all. As SAS announced, it was informed via email that the university had “[f]ound more funds to subsidize the full cost of the security”—a lucky break, given that Stanford is only a “$4.8 billion enterprise.”

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  • When Campus Intolerance Means Free Speech Gets Torn Up and Run Over, Literally

    March 21, 2014

    Being offended is what happens when you have your deepest beliefs challenged. And if you make it through four years of college without having your deepest beliefs challenged, you should demand your money back. I have been saying that line in speeches on campus for more than a decade. Even though it often gets a laugh, the idea that students have an overarching “right not to be offended” seems more entrenched on campus than ever.

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  • FIRE to Stanford: End Viewpoint Discrimination Against ‘Sexual Integrity’ Group

    March 20, 2014

    FIRE today wrote Stanford University President John Hennessy and the school’s Graduate Student Council to protest the $5,600 “security fee” charged by the university to the Stanford Anscombe Society student group for its upcoming “Communicating Values: Marriage, Family, and the Media” conference, as well as the student government’s viewpoint-based refusal to provide partial funding for the conference.

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  • Stanford Student Group Denied Funding for Conference on Family Issues

    March 14, 2014

    Last week, the Stanford University Graduate Student Council (GSC) denied a request from a student group, the Stanford Anscombe Society (SAS), for $600 to bring speakers to a conference on marriage and family issues. Critics of the event—including GradQ, an LGBT group for Stanford graduate students—objected to SAS’s decision to invite several speakers who advocate against same-sex marriage. Campus newspaper The Stanford Daily reports that GradQ members said the speaker list was “inappropriately controversial.”

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  • Do School Admins Need to Have a Thicker Skin for Discussion of Social Issues?

    December 3, 2013

    I have to admit, I am tempted to have the text of this blog entry consist of the word “yes” and then head home for the day. A thick skin seems so self-evidently critical to the functioning of a free and democratic society that it’s hard to believe people need to be reminded of it. Yet they do, and among those most in need of a dermatological toughening are administrators at our nation’s high schools (and colleges). Frank LoMonte of the Student Press Law Center (SPLC) brings to our attention a new joint report on civic education from Stanford University and the […]

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  • Four Key Points About Free Speech and the Feds’ ‘Blueprint’

    July 15, 2013

    It’s been more than two months since FIRE and the higher ed community were shocked by a letter issued jointly by the Departments of Education and Justice to the University of Montana. FIRE staff have blogged extensively about the Departments’ “blueprint” for campus sexual harassment in the last 10 weeks, but there are four crucial points that I believe bear special emphasis. 1. Overbroad and vague harassment rationales have been the primary justification and legal theorybehind campus speech codes since the 1980s.  In one sense, the attempt to stretch the definition of harassment beyond all recognition is nothing new. Speech codes came into vogue on campuses […]

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  • Dear Associated Press: Welcome to Our World. Sincerely, Student Press

    May 22, 2013

    As the nation focuses on the news about the Department of Justice’s monitoring of the Associated Press (and other reporters), it’s easy to forget that many student media outlets routinely endure egregious treatment from administrators at their schools. But yesterday, writers Devin Karambelas and David Schick penned a spot-on article for USA TODAY reminding us of just that: Student newspapers often deal with many questionable — and sometimes downright illegal — actions from administrators who shut down operations over an explicit sex issue, campus safety officers who refuse to provide any criminal records (including of a sexually violent nature), student government associations that […]

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  • Stanford Shows that Going Above and Beyond Isn’t Always a Good Thing

    May 13, 2013

    Stanford University Main Quad – Wikimedia Commons Generally speaking, doing more than you’re required to do is great. Everyone appreciates an over-achiever. Unfortunately, when your assignment is to take away student due process rights, going above and beyond is actually the opposite of what you should do.   Stanford University doesn’t seem to understand this. In response to the mandates passed down by the Office for Civil Rights’ 2011 “Dear Colleague” letter (DCL), Stanford has decided that it would be a good idea to restrict due process even further than the federal government now requires.   As Torch readers likely […]

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  • New FIRE Op-ed in ‘The Stanford Daily’

    November 2, 2012

    FIRE President Greg Lukianoff and Legislative & Policy Director Joseph Cohn have a new op-ed in The Stanford Daily today, calling on the school to more seriously consider its current standards for adjudicating sexual misconduct on campus. As Greg and Joe report, Stanford has adopted a “temporary ‘Alternate Review Process’ (ARP) that reduces the standard of evidence from ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’ to the lower ‘preponderance of the evidence.’”  While responding seriously and appropriately to allegations of sexual assault is critical, Greg and Joe point out that “[t]here need be no tension between a university’s moral and legal obligation to […]

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  • Dueling Editorials at Stanford about Standard of Evidence

    May 24, 2012

    This week, the Stanford Daily student newspaper featured dueling editorials about Stanford’s decision to lower the standard of evidence in sexual misconduct cases in response to last year’s Dear Colleague letter from the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR). FIRE has taken the lead in opposing several provisions in that letter, which states that colleges and universities must employ a “preponderance of the evidence” standard—a 50.01%, “more likely than not” evidentiary burden—when adjudicating student complaints concerning sexual harassment or sexual violence. The OCR regulations further require that if a university judicial process allows the accused student to appeal […]

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  • ‘Stanford Review’ Questions University’s Political Speech Policy

    May 21, 2012

    Last week, Gideon Weiler of student newspaper The Stanford Review penned an article criticizing Stanford University’s policy governing “political activities.” Weiler wrote:   Stanford University has an ambiguous set of policies regarding student political activism on campus. Students running for public office, for example, are not allowed to use campus resources for their campaign efforts. As a result, Stanford forbids students from using Zimbra email accounts to send campaign related messages. University regulations make it that much more challenging for student politicians to succeed. It is hard enough as it is, for students such as Roman Larson, who ran for […]

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  • FIRE to Stanford Graduate Student Council: Protect Students’ Due Process

    May 3, 2012

    The latest battleground for students’ due process rights when facing allegations of sexual misconduct appears to be Stanford University, which is contemplating measures in its Alternative Review Process (ARP) that would fail to adequately protect students who are accused of some of society’s vilest offenses. Yesterday, FIRE sent a letter to Stanford’s Graduate Student Council (GSC) urging the GSC to not approve those measures and to stand up for their fellow students’ fundamental due process rights. The ARP has been the subject of a good deal of discussion and debate on Stanford’s campus, and for good reason. Among other things, […]

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  • ‘Minding the Campus’ Applauds FIRE, Criticizes Stanford’s Due Process Failures

    July 21, 2011

    In response to our press release from yesterday as well as Samantha’s op-ed in the New York Post, Professor KC Johnson has written an article on Minding the Campus praising FIRE for its work in exposing the blatantly biased materials Stanford University uses to train those in charge of adjudicating allegations of sexual harassment and sexual assault. As we reported, these materials (excerpted from Lundy Bancroft’s book, Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men) teach student jurors that “act[ing] persuasive and logical” is a sign of guilt, that “[t]he great majority of allegations of abuse—though […]

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  • The Problem with Stanford’s Definition of ‘Intoxication’

    July 21, 2011

    I want to take a few moments today to discuss a particular aspect of FIRE’s recent work regarding due process protections for those accused of sexual misconduct. Specifically, I want to focus on the issues of consent and intoxication. Because many cases of sexual misconduct involve intoxicated students and questions of consent, precisely how a school defines intoxication is of obvious importance when thinking about due process rights and ensuring fair procedures. Let’s take Stanford University as an example. As FIRE detailed in yesterday’s press release, Stanford defines sexual assault as occurring “when a person is incapable of giving consent.” This […]

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  • Accused Student Pays Heavy Price at Stanford, Where Intoxication Eliminates Consent and ‘Acting Persuasive and Logical’ is Sign Of Guilt

    July 20, 2011

    Today, both FIRE’s press release and Samantha’s op-ed in the New York Post pry the lid off an ugly story at Stanford University, where due process rights and fair hearings have seemingly been abandoned for students accused of sexual misconduct. It’s hard to know quite where to begin, but let’s start with the fact that Stanford University is training student jurors in sexual misconduct cases to believe that “act[ing] persuasive and logical” is a sign of guilt. That’s not all: Stanford also instructs campus tribunals that being impartial is the equivalent of siding with the accused. The training materials for Stanford’s […]

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  • Stanford Trains Student Jurors That ‘Acting Persuasive and Logical’ is Sign of Guilt; Story of Student Judicial Nightmare in Today’s ‘New York Post’

    July 20, 2011

    SAN FRANCISCO, July 20, 2011—Displaying a shocking disregard for fair procedures on campus, Stanford University is training student jurors in sexual misconduct cases to believe that “act[ing] persuasive and logical” is a sign of guilt. Stanford also instructs campus tribunals that taking a neutral stand between the parties is the equivalent of siding with the accused. In this climate, Stanford last semester found a male student guilty of sexual assault solely because it determined that his partner was intoxicated (as was he). Stanford policy states that students cannot consent to sex—even with a spouse—if “intoxicated” to any degree. To make […]

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  • ‘California Watch’: No Free Speech at California Colleges

    January 7, 2011

    Free speech is not safe at California colleges—not by a long shot. That’s what investigative reporter Erica Perez found in FIRE’s 2011 speech code report, as she wrote yesterday for California Watch: A new report from a national free speech advocacy organization found most of the four-year universities it surveyed had speech codes that substantially limit students’ freedom of speech, including dozens of colleges in California. [...] Of the 33 California universities the organization rated, 64 percent got a red light, including San Diego State University, UC Santa Cruz and Claremont McKenna College. About 36 percent got a yellow light, including UC Berkeley, Occidental College and San Jose State University. […]

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  • Join FIRE’s President for Lecture at Stanford Law School

    February 25, 2010

    Please join us on Thursday, March 4th, at the Stanford Law Lounge from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. for a free, open lecture by FIRE President Greg Lukianoff. Greg will return to his alma mater to discuss how students are “Unlearning Liberty” when they see administrators censoring their fellow students. From these acts of censorship, students learn that they should follow administrators’ example to seek punishment for protected expression. The event, hosted by the Federalist Society, will be followed with a reception, drinks, and hors d’oeuvres.  We hope you can make it! To host a speech on your campus, see […]

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  • Adam Takes on Stanford School of Education in ‘Examiner’ Newspapers as Notoriety Surrounding Case Spreads Through Media

    July 29, 2009

    Amidst the escalating chatter following Jay Mathews’ Washington Post article exposing Stanford University’s deplorable treatment of teacher education student Michele Kerr, Adam Kissel levels another blow to Stanford’s School of Education, in a column seen today in both the San Francisco Examiner and Washington Examiner newspapers. The School of Education, as has been well noted by now, made concerted efforts not only to prevent Kerr from entering STEP after being admitted, but also to build a case against her that would result in her removal from the program. Adam’s description of its attempts to police Kerr’s blog—and its blatant use […]

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  • Stanford University punishes dissent when training teachers

    July 29, 2009

    Michele Kerr has had a harder year than most aspiring math teachers. For her, the math was easy and the teaching was a snap. The problem was the Stanford Teacher Education Program (STEP). Once administrators found out she didn’t fully share what she calls the “progressive” teaching philosophy that is pervasive at STEP and education schools nationwide, they tried to thwart her career. In March 2008, Kerr attended an open house for admitted students and stated her concern about paying big bucks to learn a teaching philosophy that strongly differed from her own. Soon she found herself in the director’s […]

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  • Greg in ‘Huffington Post’ on Stanford Blogger Case

    July 27, 2009

    In his most recent article for The Huffington Post, FIRE President Greg Lukianoff discusses the shocking treatment of student blogger Michele Kerr by the Stanford University Teacher Education Program (STEP). The controversy, which was recently featured in The Washington Post, stemmed both from Kerr’s dissenting pedagogical views and from the fact that she operated a blog documenting her experiences as a future certified teacher in California. Despite Stanford’s repeated attempts to derail her career, she was able to graduate in June with help from FIRE. Greg writes: Despite the fact that my chosen career path is as a watchdog against […]

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  • Victory for Freedom of Speech at Stanford: Student Graduates Despite Ed School Efforts to Revoke Admission, Investigate Private Blog, and Declare Student Unfit for Teaching

    July 24, 2009

    As we noted in today’s press release, Stanford University’s Teacher Education Program (STEP) has finally let dissenting student-blogger Michele Kerr graduate. Stanford tried to revoke Kerr’s admission after she voiced disagreement with “progressive” views held by STEP administrators, but FIRE intervened and resolved the issue. Kerr also was blogging about her thoughts and experiences as a future certified teacher. Stanford School of Education administrators demanded the password to her private blog and threatened to expel her for her opinions and teaching philosophy. The shameful story of Kerr’s travails is featured online in The Washington Post today by education columnist Jay […]

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  • Rights in the News: ‘Washington Post’ Article Shines Light on Stanford Ed’s Bullying Tactics

    July 24, 2009

    As we said in our press release today, The Washington Post‘s Jay Mathews has done us a service with his article on Stanford University’s shameful treatment of former student Michele Kerr throughout her year in the School of Education’s teacher education program, during which, among other things, the university tried to revoke its offer of admission to her and sought to force her to give administrators the password to her private blog. Fortunately, Kerr has graduated and found employment, and it’s safe to alert the public to her travails. Read Mathews’ article and our press release for more. While I’m […]

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  • Victory for Freedom of Speech at Stanford: Student Graduates Despite Ed School Efforts to Revoke Admission, Investigate Private Blog, and Declare Student Unfit for Teaching

    July 24, 2009

    SAN FRANCISCO, July 24, 2009—Stanford University’s Teacher Education Program (STEP) has finally let dissenting student-blogger Michele Kerr graduate. When Stanford tried to revoke Kerr’s admission after she voiced disagreement with “progressive” views held by STEP administrators, Kerr turned to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) for help. Kerr sought FIRE’s aid a second time after Stanford School of Education administrators demanded the password to her private blog and threatened to expel her for her opinions and teaching philosophy. The shameful story of Kerr’s travails is featured online in The Washington Post today by education columnist Jay Mathews. “From […]

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  • The State of Free Speech on Campus: Stanford University

    June 2, 2009

    Throughout the spring semester, FIRE is drawing special attention to the state of free speech at America’s top 25 national universities (as ranked by U.S. News & World Report). Today we review policies at Stanford University, which FIRE has given a red-light rating for maintaining policies that clearly and substantially restrict free expression on campus. Stanford University is private, but it explicitly commits itself to protecting free speech on campus. The university’s policy on campus disruption—labeled one of just a few “critical policies” for student organizations—states that The rights of free speech and peaceable assembly are fundamental to the democratic […]

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  • FIRE President to Speak at Stanford Law School

    November 18, 2008

    FIRE President Greg Lukianoff will be speaking at Stanford Law School’s Constitutional Law Center (Crown Quadrangle, 559 Nathan Abbott Way), Room 180 tomorrow at 12:45 p.m. Pacific time. The event is open to the public and we invite all of FIRE’s friends in the area to come hear Greg speak on the topic of “Unlearning Liberty” on campus.

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  • Censorship at Stanford

    April 13, 2007

    In a story just breaking today, it appears that Stanford University is going to ban the public from attending an event featuring an “ex-terrorist” merely because the administration has determined it to be “controversial” in nature. When attempting to justify this decision, Stanford spokeswoman Elaine Ray said: “We’re not worried about violence. This is a controversial speaker, and we want to make sure that our students have a constructive dialogue.” (Emphasis added.) Although Stanford is a private institution, it is still bound by the standards of the First Amendment because of the state’s unique Leonard Law, a statute ensuring that […]

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  • Stanford Bans Public from ‘Controversial’ Event

    April 13, 2007

    I just got a disturbing article concerning my alma mater: Stanford University, renowned as a global hub of intellectual freedom, says it will bar the public from attending a panel discussion Monday night because one of the speakers is “controversial.”   The speaker, who goes by the name Walid Shoebat, has been making the rounds on the nation’s lecture circuit claiming to be a former Palestinian terrorist-turned-Israeli-sympathizer. Poor form, Cardinal! The article delves deeper into Stanford’s weak defense of this troubling decision. Stanford spokeswoman Elaine Ray said security was not the university’s concern.   “We’re not worried about violence,” she […]

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  • Possible Lawsuit at Stanford

    February 28, 2006

    FIRE recently learned that FIRE Legal Network attorney Robert Corry, who successfully sued Stanford University for its speech code in 1994, has taken up the cause of preserving door-to-door distribution of student publications on Stanford’s campus. Stanford bans door-to-door distribution of literature unless hall residents specifically vote to endorse it, and the conservative Stanford Review, whose editors have long distributed their issues door-to-door, has joined The Stanford Progressive in objecting to the current state of affairs. Review editors have refused to abide by Stanford’s policy and are currently facing sanctions. All of this has led Corry to write to Stanford’s […]

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  • Students to Res-Ed: Let Our Voices Be Heard

    November 11, 2005

    After two years of Residential Education’s strict enforcement of the no door-to-door distribution policy, many students want the university to consider altering the prohibition. Despite a vote from the student body in support of changing the policy last year and the passing of a corresponding ASSU Senate advocacy bill, Residential Education (ResEd) has failed to take action. The Stanford Daily even ran an editorial last month asking ResEd to adopt a new stance on door-to-door distribution. Currently, ResEd does not allow the distribution of student publications from door-to-door without the explicit consent of the dorms’ Resident Fellows (RF). Instead, the […]

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  • Conformity on Campus

    June 1, 2005

    We hear a lot these days about the importance of diversity in ensuring that ideas are heard fairly. But the individuals who are most insistent about this are interested only in racial and sex diversity. Intellectual and ideological diversity is not what the enforcers of political correctness on campuses and other sectors have in mind.   This magazine has helped pioneer evidence of how politically unbalanced most college campuses have become. Most recently (see our January/February 2005 issue) we presented the findings of University of California economist Daniel Klein, who found that the ratio of Democrats to Republicans in social […]

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  • Dartmouth trustee vote raises controversy

    May 13, 2005

    While Penn prepares to graduate a new class, alumni of Dartmouth College hope to finally see the end of a controversy over trustee elections. Unlike at Penn — where all new trustees are selected by the current board — Dartmouth alumni vote directly to elect seven of the 17 members of the Board of Trustees. With two such seats up for grabs this year, campaigning and politicking have reached unprecedented levels in Hanover, N.H. Much of the intensity stems from the fact that although Dartmouth’s Alumni Council, a group mostly made up of class- and alumni-group leaders, originally nominated four […]

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  • College free speech shouldn’t be muzzled

    March 30, 2005

    COLLEGE campuses are supposed to be places that would make Thomas Jefferson and James Madison proud. However, the free exchange of ideas has suffered both from the stranglehold of political correctness and a spiral of silence stifling expression of student views held in opposition to those of their professors. No one ever predicted democracy would be easy, not even Madison or Jefferson. And today, no one can dispute that freedom of speech on college campuses is in danger of petering out. Put into that larger context, a bill proposed by state Sen. Bill Morrow goes in the wrong direction by […]

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  • Thought Reform 101

    March 1, 2000

    At Wake Forest University last fall, one of the few events designated as “mandatory” for freshman orientation was attendance at Blue Eyed, a filmed racism awareness workshop in which whites are abused, ridiculed, made to fail, and taught helpless passivity so that they can identify with “a person of color for a day.” In Swarthmore College’s dormitories, in the fall of 1998, first-year students were asked to line up by skin color, from lightest to darkest, and to step forward and talk about how they felt concerning their place in that line. Indeed, at almost all of our campuses, some […]

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