University of California, Santa Barbara

Location: Santa Barbara, California
Website: http://www.ucsb.edu/
Type: Public
Federal Circuit: 9th Circuit

Speech Code Rating

University of California, Santa Barbara 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.

  • University of California, Santa Barbara: Viewpoint Discrimination in Student Activity Funding

    May 6, 2011

    UCSB’s student government, the Associated Students, repeatedly engaged in unconstitutional viewpoint discrimination against the College Republicans by denying funding for a speech by conservative author David Horowitz due to Horowitz’s expression and viewpoints. After the Associated Students Finance Board (ASFB) voted that the group should receive no funding, the group appealed to the Associated Students Legislative Council (ASLC). According to the minutes of both meetings, student government members gave many unconstitutional reasons for not funding the event, citing Horowitz’s views, past expression, and possible future expression. The ASLC also voted to remove the record of the ASFB’s earlier discussion from […]

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  • University of California, Santa Barbara: Professor Investigated for Sending E-Mail to Class

    June 10, 2009

    UCSB subjected Professor William Robinson to a months-long investigation after he sent the students in his Sociology of Globalization class an e-mail comparing the Nazi treatment of Jews with Israel’s actions towards Palestinians. Although students were not required to read, discuss, or agree with the content of Robinson’s e-mail, two students filed formal complaints. The resulting outside pressure threatened Robinson’s academic freedom and free speech. FIRE argued that the initial assessment of the students’ claims should have led to immediate dismissal of the complaint since the single e-mail was both protected expression and relevant to the course. The investigating committee […]

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  • University of California, Santa Barbara: Attempt to Stop Website from Using Letters “UCSB”

    January 31, 2005

    The University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) has abandoned an attempt to force the owner of a website called The Dark Side of UCSB from using the letters “UCSB” in his web address. FIRE protested UCSB’s unconstitutional threats, and on the very same day that UCSB received FIRE’s letter, the university notified Mr. Baron that it would stop pursuing the matter. “We are relieved that UCSB has come to its senses and realized that it may not prohibit those who might criticize the university from using the university’s name,” remarked FIRE President David French. “UCSB twice told Mr. Baron, whose […]

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  • University of California, Santa Barbara: Censorship of Student Thesis

    May 3, 2000

    At the University of California, Santa Barbara, grad student Christopher Brown was denied a Master’s degree for over one year for using language deemed offensive in the preface of his thesis. Brown submitted the thesis, along with his "Disacknowledgments". Told he would not receive a degree unless he removed the language, Brown took out what he considered the offensive writing. When informed by the Dean that he had to eliminate the whole preface in order to receive the degree, despite the fact that his thesis independent of the preface had already been approved, Brown dissented, invoking his First Amendment rights. […]

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Yellow Light Policies
  • U-Mail Acceptable Use Policy 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies

    USER shall not use THE SERVICE to commit any nuisance, annoy, molest, defame, abuse, harass, stalk, threaten or otherwise violate the legal rights (such as rights of privacy and publicity) of others.

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  • University of California Campus Climate 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Policies on Bias and Hate Speech

    If you experience or observe behavior that is inconsistent with our Principles of Community, please report it.

    You may report in a variety of ways:

    *Report anonymously or by name, via this Campus Climate page, by selecting the University of California campus where the incident occurred from the list to the right and clicking “Continue”.
    * Report anonymously to an appropriate campus office, based on the nature of the incident. Please refer to the website for the campus where the incident occurred.
    * Report anonymously via your campus’ Bias Reporting page, by selecting your campus from the Local Bias Reporting menu above. If your campus does not appear on this list, there is no local reporting form available. Please use this form, instead.
    * File a report with your Campus Police Department, via the Campus Police menu above.

    Expressions of Bias: A general communication not directed toward a particular individual, which disparages a group of people on the basis of some characteristic ….

    Hate Speech: Hate speech is any speech, gesture or conduct, writing, or display that may incite violence or prejudicial action against someone based on actual or perceived race, color, ancestry, gender, gender identity, ethnicity.

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  • UCSB Kiosk: Campus Safety- Sexual Harassment 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies

    Sexual harassment occurs when unwanted attention of a sexual nature interferes with a person’s ability to obtain an education, work or participate in recreational or social activities at UCSB.

    Sexual harassment can include:

    - personal jokes or negative comments about you personally or about you as a female or male (gender harassment)

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  • UCSB Residence Hall Policies: Harassment 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies

    Verbal and nonverbal harassment made directly or indirectly (via email, social networking sites, written messages, etc.) is not tolerated. This includes threats, malicious pranks, abusive name-calling, prank phone calls racial, gender, or sexual orientation harassment.

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  • UCSB Residence Hall Policies: Posting and Distribution 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Posting Policies

    All postings must be approved by the Resident Director of the building. Posting material on room/suite, hallway, or floor lounge windows is prohibited. Any signs or objects deemed offensive may be removed.

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  • UCSB Residence Hall Policies: Community Accountability 13-14

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

    Your rights as a resident include: … The right to be free from intimidation, physical, and emotional harm.

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  • Principles of Community 13-14

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

    Mutual respect is a non-negotiable. What this means is that there are some boundaries that should not be crossed. Intolerant and disrespectful behavior, especially regarding race, sexual orientation, gender, ethnicity, and religion, compromises our sense of community and our ability to live and learn together.

    Our community requires the respectful exchange of ideas. People should be passionate about what they believe and how they express that belief, but they must also be civil in both word and deed. This principle is particularly important when a community encompasses people who have different backgrounds, worldviews, etc. This is not about political correctness; it is about basic respect – about how people treat one another, not about what people think or believe.

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Green Light Policies
  • Campus Regulations: Speech and Advocacy 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies

    On University grounds generally open to the public, all persons may exercise the constitutionally protected rights of free expression, speech, assembly, worship and distribution of literature incidental to the exercise of these freedoms; however, these activities must not interfere with the orderly operation of the campus and must be conducted in accordance with the campus time, place and manner regulations. …

    a. Grounds Open to the Public Generally

    1. For the purpose of these regulations, “grounds open to the public generally” are defined as the outdoor areas of the campus (lawns, patios, plazas) that are adjacent to campus buildings and parking lots.In the event that the architecture of a building includes entrances with stairs or landings, no distribution may take place on the stairs or landings. (This restriction applies to both landings in front of the main entrance to the Library.)
    2. All activity in these areas must be conducted in such a way that traffic is not impeded and the normal activities in classrooms and offices are not disrupted.
    3. Tables or moveable stands may not be placed in areas where passages to any entrance or walkways are blocked, where the free flow of pedestrian traffic is restricted, or where emergency fire lanes are blocked.
    4. In order to facilitate ingress and egress, all activity must be conducted 25 feet or more from any entrance/exit, parking lot, staircase, landing or roadway.
    5. Fixed tables in the area in front of the University Center are accessed on a first-come, first-served basis.
    6. Groups using moveable tables or stands at any location on the campus must have the prior approval of the Office of Student Life and comply with number 3 above.
    7. No flyers, announcements or literature of any kind may be placed on automobiles (e.g., under the windshield wipers) on University property.
    8. Organizations/persons are prohibited from leaving flyers, announcements or literature of any kind unattended on campus grounds or in classrooms. That is, literature may be handed to interested persons or posted appropriately in designated areas for their information, but it may not simply be left for others to pick up. (See Appendix D for non-affiliate rules.)
      1. Any person or organization wishing to regularly distribute publications must notify the Office of Student Life regarding distribution and litter control plans.
      2. All publications distributed within or in front of the on-campus residence halls and dining commons must be approved by the Residence Hall Association or its designee.
    9. Flyers, announcements or literature of registered campus organizations may be distributed through departmental mail boxes as long as the method of distribution is in keeping with departmental policy or applicable University policies. All inquiries regarding the appropriateness of distribution will be referred to the department chairperson or manager for resolution

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  • Campus Regulations: Policy on Student Conduct and Discipline 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies

    Sexual, racial, and other forms of harassment, defined as follows:
    Harassment is defined as conduct that is so severe and/or pervasive, and objectively offensive, and that so substantially impairs a person’s access to University programs or activities, that the person is effectively denied equal access to the University’s resources and opportunities on the basis of his or her race, color, national or ethnic origin, alienage, sex, religion, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, veterans status, physical or mental disability, or perceived membership in any of these classifications.

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  • Your First Amendment Rights as a Student at UC Santa Barbara 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression

    While the rights afforded citizens by the First Amendment of the Constitution are the bedrock of American society, they occupy an even more hallowed place in the life of a university. The fundamental mission of the university — to seek, discover, and disseminate truth — cannot be realized without open, unimpeded exchange of ideas, both inside and outside the classroom. Consequently, both the US Constitution and the university’s core mission inspire the policies and practices related to free expression on our campus.

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  • Your First Amendment Rights as a Student at UC Santa Barbara 13-14

    Speech Code Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies

    For the purpose of applying “time, place, and manner” restrictions, “grounds open to the public generally” are defined as the outdoor areas of the campus (lawns, patios, plazas) that are adjacent to campus buildings and parking lots. These outdoor areas may be used for non-amplified speech and advocacy as long as normal activities in classrooms and offices are not disrupted.

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  • Professors as Petty Tyrants

    April 1, 2014

    By Mona Charen at National Review Online The mother of the 16-year-old pro-life demonstrator who suffered a rough confrontation with a professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara, has shown a rare civility — the spirit liberals are forever bemoaning the lack of but rarely exhibit themselves. The event: A small group of pro-life activists visited UCSB to demonstrate against abortion. They bore posters and leaflets and set up their display on the campus’s “free speech zone.” Professor Mireille Miller-Young was offended, no, “triggered,” by the photo of an aborted baby on Thrin Short’s poster. Together with two or three […]

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  • FREE SPEECH? NOT ON THIS CAMPUS

    March 24, 2014

    Editorial at WND Education A recent rampage by a feminist porn professor who allegedly destroyed a pro-life sign and assaulted a student was just the latest in a long list of campus attacks on free speech, according to an organization defending First Amendment rights. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education said the incident at the University of California at Santa Barbara was among many “in which students and faculty members have taken it upon themselves to silence ideological opponents, particularly those with socially conservative views.” Police are investigating the alleged attack by Mireille Miller-Young, who teaches feminist studies such as pornography, queer theory […]

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  • From UCSB to Dartmouth: Free speech gets torn up and run over, literally

    March 21, 2014

    by Greg Lukianoff at The Daily Caller 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 in speeches on campus for more than a decade. Even though the line often gets a laugh, the idea that students have a “right not to be offended” seems more entrenched on campus than ever. Take the most recent high-profile example: At the University of California-Santa Barbara (UCSB), a professor not only seized a graphic […]

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  • Leftist Censors Defeated at UC Santa Barbara

    October 21, 2011

    In a victory for free speech advocates, it has been confirmed that University of California officials reimbursed a student Republican group at UC Santa Barbara (UCSB) for expenses incurred hosting David Horowitz​ for an on-campus lecture. The university’s student government initially balked at paying the $1800 for the conservative author’s May 26th appearance, simply because they didn’t like what he had to say. The College Republicans (CRs) turned to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) for help. It was all the help they needed. “UCSB’s student government utterly refused to fulfill its constitutional duty to be viewpoint-neutral in its funding decisions,” FIRE […]

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  • Free speech: UCSB reimburses College Republicans

    October 13, 2011

    Under pressure from a conservative free-speech group, University of California officials have reimbursed campus Republicans in Santa Barbara for hosting a speaker who claims Muslim extremists and left-wingers are infiltrating the classroom. The UC Santa Barbara student government balked at the Republican group’s request for $1,800 to pay for conservative author David Horowitz’s appearance, but school officials eventually acknowledged their legal duty to provide equal funding for speakers regardless of their views, said a spokesman for the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. “You can’t make a viewpoint-related decision about speakers” at a state-run college, the foundation’s Adam Kissel said […]

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  • Free Speech Victory at UC Santa Barbara

    October 13, 2011

    Editor’s note: The following is a press release from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving civil liberties in higher education. The press release marks a hard-won victory for First Amendment rights on campus, which was achieved at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), but carries implications that extend far beyond the university. Last spring, UCSB’s Associated Students Finance Board denied a funding request made by the College Republicans to host David Horowitz​, president of the Freedom Center. This denial was the product of viewpoint discrimination and is illegal due to Supreme […]

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  • Speaker David Horowitz Causes Controversy… UCSB Students Fear “Islamophobia

    May 26, 2011

    That’s the headline in one of the many stories in the UC Santa Barbara campus papers attacking my appearance at the college tonight. Ponder that headline for a second. Someone is coming to a university to disagree with the reigning orthodoxy, and fear strikes the student body. And these are members of an elite university community!  The topic of my talk tonight, appropriately, is “Infantile Disorders at UCSB: Why the Muslim Students Association and Students for Justice in Palestine are Afraid of David Horowitz.” When the very brave College Republicans at UCSB went to their student Legislative Council to appeal […]

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  • Suppressing Speech at UC Santa Barbara

    May 18, 2011

    When David Horowitz speaks about campus anti-Semitism and appeasement of radical Islam at the University of California, Santa Barbara on May 26, it will be against a backdrop of soft censorship and suppression of free speech that has come to characterize the UCSB public square. The school’s Associated Students (AS) financial board, heavily influenced by the UCSB Muslim Students Association acting in concert with left-wing groups, illegally refused a funding request last week by the College Republicans to fund the event. After a protest by students anxious to hear Horowitz, the AS granted a part of the sum initially requested […]

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  • No charges, no end in e-mail fight

    June 25, 2009

    In a limited sense, the case of William I. Robinson is over. On Wednesday, he was notified that a faculty committee had found no “probable cause” to undertake a full investigation of complaints filed against him related to e-mail messages he sent to his students in which he compared Israelis and Nazis. Further, he was notified that the administration at the University of California at Santa Barbara had accepted the faculty members’ analysis, and that the case was over — without his ever having faced formal charges before a disciplinary committee. Supporters of Robinson, a tenured professor of sociology, agreed […]

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  • East coast advocacy group backs embattled UCSB professor

    June 19, 2009

    While an ad hoc charges committee of UCSB’s Academic Senate looks into accusations of faculty misconduct against William Robinson – the professor who sent out an e-mail in January comparing the Israeli occupation of Gaza with the Nazi’s handling of the Warsaw Ghetto during World War II – the Committee to Defend Academic Freedom at UCSB has been working overtime trying to prove that Robinson was within his right to send the email. The committee, which was formed shortly after complaints were filed by two students in January, recently enlisted the help of the Pennsylvania-based Foundation for Individual Rights in […]

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  • FIRE protests UC Santa Barbara’s investigation of Professor Robinson

    June 10, 2009

    by Greg Lukianoff The Huffington Post   Back in May, I reported on the case of William I. Robinson, a professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara who is being investigated for writing his students an e-mail comparing the Nazi treatment of Jews with Israel’s actions towards Palestinians. At that point the investigation seemed somewhat tentative and I had hoped that cooler heads would prevail. But, while my work does produce the occasional pleasant surprise, this was not to be. Therefore my organization, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), sent a letter to UCSB today asking it […]

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  • UC Santa Barbara investigates professor for anti-Israel e-mail

    May 1, 2009

    Academic freedom is once again in the news, this time because a professor at UC Santa Barbara is being investigated for sending his students an anti-Israel e-mail blast. At the middle of the controversy is sociology professor William I. Robinson, a self-proclaimed “scholar-activist,” who sent an e-mail comparing Israeli policy with that of the Nazis to 80 students in his Sociology of Globalization class. The e-mail, as the Los Angeles Times reported yesterday, “compared graphic images of Jews in the Holocaust to pictures of Palestinians caught up in Israel’s recent Gaza offensive.” It also included an article criticizing Israel’s treatment […]

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  • UC-Santa Barbara Won’t Challenge Web Site That Spotlights Crime on the Campus

    February 25, 2005

    Behind the stunning coastal beauty of the University of California at Santa Barbara lurk mayhem and danger, according to James H. Baron. He says his daughter left the university in 2003, in her junior year, because she was assaulted on campus. In an effort to expose what he calls “deviant behaviors” of Santa Barbara students — including drunkenness, drug use, and violence — and what he sees as the lax attitude of administrators, Mr. Baron created a Web site called the Dark Side of UCSB (http://www.thedarksideofucsb.com). He said the goal is to improve the university and provide a resource for […]

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  • Educ. Advocacy Group Finds School’s Excuses for Censorship Attempt Suspicious

    February 9, 2005

    The University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB) has backed down from an attempt to prohibit a critic’s expression of dissent. UC’s legal counsel has announced the school will no longer pursue legal action against a website that points out problems on its campus. The university recently threatened parent James Baron with criminal sanctions if he did not remove the university’s name from his website — “www.thedarksideofucsb.com” — through which he accuses UCSB administrators of responding poorly to security problems and a high crime rate on the campus. However, an academic freedom and civil liberties advocacy group came to Baron’s […]

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  • Calif. university ends quest to shut down critical Web site

    February 8, 2005

    CALIFORNIA – The owner of a Web site that criticizes the University of California at Santa Barbara was notified on Feb. 1 that the university will not seek legal action against him, following the school’s previous request that he remove the school’s name from his site or face criminal sanctions. The university dropped its removal efforts the same day the school received a letter from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, stating the University of California at Santa Barbara’s actions were unconstitutional, and after James Baron placed a disclaimer on his site that distinguishes it as separate from the […]

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  • UC Decides Not to Sue ‘Darkside’ Website Creator

    February 7, 2005

    Following a complaint and threat of litigation from a civil liberties group, the University of California has chosen not to pursue a legal battle against a website critical of UCSB. In November of 2004, the university asked James Baron, the father of a former UCSB student, to remove the letters “UCSB” from his website, thedarksideofucsb.com. UCSB officials said Baron’s use of the trademark violates a section of the California Education Code, and visitors could confuse the site with a campus-affiliated entity. On behalf of Baron, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) wrote a letter to Chancellor Henry Yang […]

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  • The Good and The Bad (Plus Some Ugly)

    October 11, 2004

    Today’s college campus is a study in contrasts. Professors and administrators cling to their grotesque orthodoxies, but students seem to be getting saner by the year. What follows are five of the most outrageous campus incidents of the last academic year, then five of the most heartening acts of courage. The conservative-speaker double standard is almost an academic institution. At Bucknell University, administrators refused a student group’s request to invite Republican congressman and Senate hopeful Pat Toomey to give a speech, arguing that his appearance would violate a school policy against electioneering on campus. Meanwhile, Bucknell paid presidential candidate Ralph […]

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  • Student Endangers Master’s Degree With Vitriolic Addition to Thesis

    March 17, 2000

    Christopher T. Brown didn’t pull any punches when he attached a special “disacknowledgments” section to his master’s thesis that used the “F” word to criticize everyone at the University of California at Santa Barbara from the graduate dean on down. The stunt just may cost him his degree. Mr. Brown, a master’s student in materials science, tacked the disacknowledgment section onto his thesis last spring, after his paper had already been approved. But officials at Santa Barbara’s library, which keeps student theses on file, noticed the addition and alerted administrators, who told Mr. Brown that his degree would be withheld […]

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  • ReasonTV Explores College Classroom ‘Trigger Warnings’ in New Video

    May 8, 2014

    FIRE President Greg Lukianoff makes an appearance in a new ReasonTV video that discusses proposals at Oberlin College and the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) to require “trigger warnings” on course syllabi.

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  • Free Speech Advocates Unsatisfied with UC Santa Barbara Vice Chancellor’s Mixed Messages

    March 28, 2014

    On March 4, University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) Professor Mireille Miller-Young took a sign from an anti-abortion protester on campus, claiming she was “triggered” by the graphic images on display as a pregnant woman, and got into a physical altercation with the student in the process. UCSB Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Michael D. Young asserted a commitment to freedom of expression in an email to students on March 19. But despite the fact that UCSB is a public institution bound by the First Amendment, the institution has not signaled that it is taking action against Miller-Young for her censorship of constitutionally protected speech.

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  • University of Chicago Professor in ‘Tribune’: Whither Free Speech?

    March 25, 2014

    An op-ed in the Chicago Tribune today by University of Chicago Professor Charles Lipson makes a great case for the importance of freedom of speech and open discourse on university campuses.

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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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  • Reform Wesleyan’s Speech Code to Maintain Caliber of Academic Discourse

    July 30, 2013

    Shafaq Hasan is a FIRE summer intern. Earlier this year, FIRE identified Wesleyan University as its February 2013 Speech Code of the Month. Listed under responsibilities shared between each member of the university, Wesleyan maintains a problematic policy that prohibits “actions that may be harmful to the health or emotional stability of the individual or that degrade the individual or infringe on his/her personal dignity.”  Wesleyan University has yet to alter this policy to address FIRE’s concerns about the code’s vagueness. FIRE has previously commented on the idiosyncratic nature of what can be considered emotionally “harmful” or “degrading” to each individual. […]

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  • UCSB Associated Student Senate Grapples with Tough First Amendment Issue

    March 8, 2013

    Things are starting to get back on track in the Associated Student Senate at the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB). As we have described here and here, last month, the Senate passed a resolution calling on its staff and the university administration to pressure Facebook to shut down two gossip pages: “UCSB Hook-Ups” and “UCSB Confessions.” The College Republicans and others on campus challenged the resolution as unconstitutional censorship, prompting the Senate to revisit the issue in its most recent session. As UCSB student newspaper The Bottom Line reported, the debate would have made Justice Louis Brandeis proud. (First Amendment fans […]

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  • UCSB Student Government Passes Resolution Calling for Censorship

    February 22, 2013

    An interesting controversy is brewing at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) this month. According to student newspaper The Bottom Line, two Facebook pages that publicize social interactions at UCSB—”UCSB Hook-Ups” and “UCSB Confessions”—have rubbed members of the Associated Students Senate the wrong way. The two Facebook pages have attracted upwards of 5,000 followers, generating comments that members of the Senate say portray “the worst part of UCSB”: “[The pages] affect the campus climate even though it’s not directly on campus,” said [On-Campus Senator Navkiran] Kaur. “They affect students. There have been racist comments, there have been hateful comments, […]

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  • University of California Schools Flout Student Speech Rights

    November 29, 2011

    While some University of California schools are facing scrutiny due to their handling of students’ exercises of free speech and civil disobedience, others in the system have unfinished business protecting students’ free speech rights in their policies. All eight of the UC universities reviewed by FIRE have “red light” or “yellow light” ratings for restricting campus speech, and four of them have flouted UC President Mark Yudof’s 2009 directive to protect free speech in their policies regarding discriminatory harassment. UC Irvine, UC Riverside, UC San Diego, and UC Santa Cruz all have been rated by FIRE with a red light for […]

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  • UCSB’s ‘Daily Nexus’ Struggles to Accept the Truth after Viewpoint Discrimination against David Horowitz Event

    October 28, 2011

    Yesterday I described in detail how University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) has been struggling to deny the obvious: Student government officials completely denied funding for $2,000 for a David Horowitz event sponsored by the College Republicans (CRs) earlier this year because of opposition to his views and expression, while a second group of student government officials voted to hide the evidence by suppressing the minutes of the meeting and also engaged in viewpoint discrimination to deny much of the funding for the event. The CRs had requested $1,770, and after a lot of strong denunciations of Horowitz’s views and expression, the second […]

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  • ‘San Francisco Chronicle’ Reprints UCSB’s Lies about Viewpoint Discrimination against David Horowitz Event

    October 26, 2011

    Reasonable people disagree about a wide variety of things. But sometimes, people just lie or misrepresent the truth. Sadly, a lot of this is happening over at University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), and the lies are making it into the press. The documentation is quite clear on the following points: 1.  Student government officials completely denied funding for $2,000 for a David Horowitz event sponsored by the College Republicans, because of opposition to his views and expression. Some of the students stood up for free speech, but they lost to those advocating for “inclusivity.” 2.  A second group of […]

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  • Victory at UC Santa Barbara: University Nixes Student Government’s Unconstitutional Rejection of David Horowitz Speech

    October 10, 2011

    LOS ANGELES, October 10, 2011—Officials at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) have stepped in after its student government unconstitutionally denied funding for a speech by conservative activist David Horowitz. The student government had engaged in unconstitutional viewpoint discrimination on two separate occasions and then tried to hide the evidence of its wrongdoing. The College Republicans, Horowitz’s hosts, came to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) for help. “UCSB’s student government utterly refused to fulfill its constitutional duty to be viewpoint-neutral in its funding decisions,” FIRE President Greg Lukianoff said. “Thankfully, USCB has finally rectified this error […]

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  • FIRE to UC Santa Barbara: Stop Student Government’s Viewpoint Discrimination

    June 8, 2011

    Yesterday FIRE sent a second letter to University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) Chancellor Henry T. Yang to help him understand the grave danger to First Amendment rights posed by the UCSB student government’s explicit viewpoint discrimination against the UCSB College Republicans and conservative writer and activist David Horowitz. As the minutes of last month’s Associated Students Legislative Council (LC) meeting show, at least five of the eight LC members who voted to reject funding for an event featuring Horowitz did so after making clear that they were against the funding because of Horowitz’s conservative viewpoints. (Fourteen LC members voted in favor […]

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  • Students Peacefully Engage Horowitz at UCSB, but Student Government Injustices Remain Uncorrected

    May 31, 2011

    As David Horowitz quipped Thursday evening, when finally making his scheduled appearance at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), “This is a university campus, I’m 72 years old, and I’m some big threat?” The Associated Students Finance Board (ASFB) sure seemed to think so, according to the minutes of its May 4 meeting. As Adam thoroughly laid out on Thursday, it was at this meeting where the decision was made to deny a significant portion of the requested funding for the event, hosted by the UCSB College Republicans, on the basis of Horowitz’s conservative viewpoint. And what happened, when all was […]

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  • Much More Evidence of Viewpoint Discrimination by UC Santa Barbara Student Government Regarding Tonight’s David Horowitz Event (Details)

    May 26, 2011

    Earlier today I wrote about the clear case of viewpoint discrimination by the student government at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), when it twice denied funding for a lecture tonight by conservative writer and speaker David Horowitz due to Horowitz’s viewpoints. In that post, I showed the strong evidence of viewpoint discrimination in the notes from the first meeting of the Associated Students Finance Board. (These notes show that they discussed their discriminatory plans during the meeting.) In this post, I will discuss evidence from the Associated Students (AS) Legislative Council minutes of May 4, 2011, in which even more decisions were made to […]

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  • Much More Evidence of Viewpoint Discrimination by UC Santa Barbara Student Government Regarding Tonight’s David Horowitz Event

    May 26, 2011

    Earlier today I wrote about the clear case of viewpoint discrimination by the student government at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), when it twice denied funding for a lecture tonight by conservative writer and speaker David Horowitz due to Horowitz’s viewpoints. In that post, I showed the strong evidence of viewpoint discrimination in the notes from the first meeting of the Associated Students Finance Board. (These notes show that they discussed their discriminatory plans during the meeting.) Discriminating on the basis of political views in student fee funding, which is what happened here on multiple occasions, violates the […]

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  • UC Santa Barbara Student Government Tries to Derail David Horowitz Event, Lies About It

    May 26, 2011

    The University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) student government has unconstitutionally discriminated against the UCSB College Republicans by twice denying funding for a lecture tonight by David Horowitz because of his conservative views. After FIRE pointed out that discriminating on the basis of political views in student fee funding violates the First Amendment, UCSB student leaders apparently lied to UCSB officials, stating that Horowitz’s views were not a factor in the denial of funding. Meeting minutes and news articles prove, however, that UCSB unlawfully discriminated on the basis of viewpoint. Horowitz nevertheless will speak at UCSB tonight. On May 3, 2011, independent student newspaper the Daily Nexus reported that the […]

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  • Five University of California Campuses Missed the Memo on New Discriminatory Harassment Policy

    March 19, 2010

    As the great UC San Diego free speech crisis unfolded, I noticed that UCSD had missed the memo from President Mark C. Yudof regarding the new Universitywide discriminatory harassment policy as of October 2009. (FIRE has a good idea about exactly why the policy was changed at that time, but that is a story not yet ready to be told.) This policy replaced all the old sexual harassment policies for students across the University of California system. It appears that, like UCSD, four other campuses also missed the memo. The new policy is nowhere to be found online at UC […]

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  • Rights in the News: Victories at UCSB and Wright State as Pressure on Bucknell Intensifies

    June 26, 2009

    FIRE’s victories for religious liberty and academic freedom at Wright State University and the University of California-Santa Barbara (UCSB) were in the news this week, while Bucknell University’s continuing refusal to acknowledge its wrongful and discriminatory treatment of the Bucknell University Conservatives Club has only intensified the media spotlight it is trying to avoid. As Torch followers read this week, The Wall Street Journal’s law blog and The Philadelphia Inquirer both ran in-depth stories on Bucknell’s suppression of the political activities of the BUCC. Susan Snyder’s article for the Inquirer, since its publication on Tuesday, has been one of the […]

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  • Victory for Academic Freedom at University of California–Santa Barbara

    June 26, 2009

    University of California-Santa Barbara (UCSB) has notified Professor William Robinson that it is no longer pursuing charges against him for sending an e-mail to his Sociology of Globalization class which offended students and critics both within and outside the university. Exactly two weeks after FIRE wrote UCSB Chancellor Henry Yang, the university’s Charges Committee reported that it “did not find probable cause to undertake disciplinary action.” Executive Vice Chancellor Gene Lucas informed Robinson that “this matter is now terminated.” This is a victory for all faculty members at UCSB, who now are less likely to self-censor in fear that complaints […]

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  • Greg in ‘Huffington Post’ on the Conclusion of UCSB’s Investigation of Professor Robinson

    June 25, 2009

    FIRE President Greg Lukianoff has posted his third, and hopefully last, blog entry on Professor William I. Robinson’s case at UC Santa Barbara on The Huffington Post. The controversy began when Professor Robinson sent around an e-mail to the students in his Sociology of Globalization class comparing the Nazi treatment of Jews with Israel’s actions towards Palestinians. The three blogs Greg has written document the case, FIRE’s involvement, and finally the verdict which was sent to us yesterday afternoon. Fortunately, Professor Robinson is no longer under investigation. As Greg put it: Stripped of the jargon of sociology and the politicization […]

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  • Victory for Academic Freedom at University of California–Santa Barbara

    June 24, 2009

    University of California-Santa Barbara (UCSB) has just notified Professor William Robinson that it is no longer pursuing charges against him for sending an e-mail to his Sociology of Globalization class which offended students and critics both within and outside the university. Exactly two weeks after FIRE wrote UCSB Chancellor Henry Yang, the university’s Charges Committee reported that it “did not find probable cause to undertake disciplinary action.” Executive Vice Chancellor Gene Lucas informed Robinson that “this matter is now terminated.” This is a victory for all faculty members at UCSB, who now are less likely to self-censor in fear that […]

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  • UC Santa Barbara ends investigation of professor for anti-Israel e-mail

    June 24, 2009

    Since late April I have been following the case of Professor William I. Robinson at UCSB, who became the subject of an official university investigation after sending the students in his Sociology of Globalization class an e-mail comparing the Nazi treatment of Jews with Israel’s actions towards Palestinians. The e-mail ignited a firestorm of controversy and led the university to launch the investigation. Exactly two weeks ago, my organization, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), sent a letter protesting the investigation of Professor Robinson for speech that, in our professional estimation, was protected by academic freedom. Today Professor […]

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  • FIRE Defends a Professor—And One of His Fiercest Critics—On the Same Day

    June 11, 2009

    Yesterday, FIRE sent out two letters. One, as Greg noted at The Huffington Post, was in defense of William Robinson, a University of California, Santa Barbara, professor who has been under investigation for months after writing his students an e-mail comparing the Nazi treatment of Jews with Israel’s actions towards Palestinians. The other letter was in defense of a student group that had brought conservative activist David Horowitz—whose organization is one of Robinson’s fiercest critics—to a different campus. The student group was charged for extra security for Horowitz’s visit simply because Horowitz was deemed “controversial.” (He had criticized some of […]

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  • Greg in ‘Huffington Post’ on UC Santa Barbara Investigation of Professor

    May 4, 2009

    In his most recent article for The Huffington Post, FIRE President Greg Lukianoff discusses the recent controversy at UC Santa Barbara, where Professor William Robinson is being investigated for sending an anti-Israel e-mail to his students. Greg examines the arguments that have been made about this case, and concludes that hurt feelings and being offended are “a small price to pay for a marketplace of ideas.” The article concludes: I don’t blame anyone for being angry about what Robinson wrote. In my work, however, I am constantly reminded that in a truly diverse and pluralistic society, if you allow what […]

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  • UC Santa Barbara’s Unlikely Claims

    February 8, 2005

    Last week the University of California at Santa Barbara capitulated in its attempt to force the owner of a site called thedarksideofucsb.com to remove the initials “UCSB” on its site. This is a remarkable case for so many reasons, not the least of which is that it highlights the trend of using intellectual property law as a tool for silencing criticism. Obviously, it would be hard to criticize an organization or institution if you couldn’t say its name! “Man, I think BLANK is corrupt. You know who I mean by BLANK, correct?” just isn’t a very effective way to dissent. […]

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  • Victory for Free Speech at UC Santa Barbara

    February 4, 2005

    SANTA BARBARA, Calif., February 4, 2005—The University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB) has abandoned an attempt to force the owner of a website called The Dark Side of UCSB from using the letters “UCSB” in his web address.UCSB threatened Mr. James Baron, the site’s owner, with criminal sanctions if he did not change the site’s address.The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) protested UCSB’s unconstitutional threats, and on the very same day that UCSB received FIRE’s letter, the university notified Mr. Baron that it would pursue the matter no further. “We are relieved that UCSB has come to […]

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