University of Cincinnati

Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Website: http://www.uc.edu
Type: Public
Federal Circuit: 6th Circuit

Speech Code Rating

University of Cincinnati has been given the speech code rating Red. A red light university has at least one policy that both clearly and substantially restricts freedom of speech. Read more here.

  • University of Cincinnati: Speech Code Litigation

    December 8, 2008

    In 2012, FIRE coordinated a legal challenge to an unconstitutional free speech zone policy at the University of Cincinnati (UC) that limited all “demonstrations, pickets, and rallies” to a “Free Speech Area” comprising just 0.1% of the university’s 137-acre West Campus. The policy further required all activity in the free speech zone to be registered ten working days in advance, threatening that “[a]nyone violating this policy may be charged with trespassing.” After UC’s Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) chapter was told it could not gather signatures and talk to students across campus in support of a statewide “right to work” […]

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Red Light Policies

  • Residence Hall Handbook: Harassment 12-13

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies, Statement

    Harassment of any individual for any
    reason will not be tolerated. Harassment includes but is
    not limited to the infliction of mental or emotional abuse,
    ridicule, embarrassment, or intimidation.

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  • Use of Facilities Policy Manual: Free Speech Area 11-12

    Speech Code Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies, Statement

    The northwest section (see diagram) of McMicken Commons immediately east of McMicken
    Hall on the West Campus is designated as the main free speech area. Individuals or groups
    wanting to use these areas must schedule the activity in the Campus Scheduling Office. Anyone
    violating this policy may be charged with trespassing.

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Yellow Light Policies
Green Light Policies
  • Policy Statement on Discriminatory Harassment 12-13

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies, Statement

    Harassment is conduct that has the purpose or foreseeable effect of unreasonably interfering with an identifiable individual's work or academic performance or of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work or learning environment for that individual.

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  • Code of Student Conduct: Charter of Student Rights and Responsibilities 12-13

    Speech Code Category: Advertised Commitments to Free Expression, Statement

    Students are members of society as well as members of the academic community. As members of society, students have the same responsibilities as other members of society and enjoy the same freedom of speech and peaceful assembly, and the right of petition that other members of society enjoy.

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  • Code of Student Conduct: Nonacademic Misconduct- Harassment 12-13

    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies, Statement

    Harassment: Conduct that has the purpose or foreseeable effect of unreasonably interfering with an identifiable individual's work or academic performance or of creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive work or learning environment for that individual ....

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  • Use of Facilities Policy Manual 12-13

    Speech Code Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies, Statement

    Effective as of June 12, 2012, the University of Cincinnati's Expressive Activity Policy is suspended by court order, as is any regulation of student speech found in the Use of Facilities Policy Manual and the MainStreet Student Event Guide. The president of the university has directed as follows: * Students who wish to engage in any expressive activity in groups of 25 or fewer, including to soliciting signatures on petitions, may do so, without any prior notice to the university, in the Free Speech Area and the open campus areas, plazas, and sidewalks. * Students wishing to engage in any expressive activity in groups of more than 25: (a) are asked to call Campus Scheduling...at least 24 hours in advance, and (b) may conduct activities in the same locations, except that the university reserves the ability, on a case-by-case basis, to change the location of a very large activity (groups of 5,000 or more), but only to the extent necessary to ensure the safety and security of the university community.

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  • How One College Student Fought His School’s ‘Free Speech Zone’ – And Won

    September 13, 2013

    By Nico Perrino at Forbes Online Chris Morbitzer wasn’t asking for much.  All he wanted to do was receive permission from his school to gather signatures across campus for a time-sensitive, statewide right-to-work ballot initiative in which he and his student group, Young Americans for Liberty, were participating. Because the University of Cincinnati is a public university bound by the First Amendment, he shouldn’t have needed to ask permission. As the Supreme Court held in Watchtower Bible and Tract Soc’y of NY, Inc. v. Vill. of Stratton (2002), “It is offensive—not only to the values protected by the First Amendment, but to the very […]

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  • Censorship 1, Fun 0: U of Alabama Frosh Ticketed for Harlem Shake Video Shoot

    February 19, 2013

    The Crimson Tide was ready to Harlem Shake — but then the police showed up and shut down a student’s music video. Yesterday afternoon, University of Alabama freshman Nojan Radfar learned a hard and fast lesson about the absurdity of campus censorship. Like countless others across the nation, Radfar wanted his fellow students to represent their beloved school by putting a unique University of Alabama twist on the “Harlem Shake” phenomenon currently enthralling our country. Before we go any further with Radfar’s story, here’s the obligatory “Harlem Shake” primer for those readers over the age of 25 and/or living in a cave: […]

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  • College Students Were 2012′s Unsung Heroes for Free Speech

    January 4, 2013

    by Azhar Majeed Policymic   Students at our nation’s colleges and universities won a number of important victories for freedom of speech and the First Amendment over the past year. They vindicated their core expressive rights, fought back against repressive university practices, and taught us all valuable lessons about living in a free society. The victories on campus weren’t limited to instances where student speech was censored or punished in application, however. At a number of institutions, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE, where I work) convinced the administration to proactively protect free speech by reforming illiberal and unconstitutional policies before they […]

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  • 2012: a tough year for free speech on campus

    December 26, 2012

    There’s no place in the world where speech is freer than the United States of America. It’s a vital part of the attraction our land has always had for those around the world who find themselves marginalized, persecuted, or worse because of what they say or what they believe. Unfortunately, our college campuses are an exception to our exceptional freedom — and for those of us who care about freedom in academia, 2012 was another tough year. First, some good news: the latest numbers, just released by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE, where I work), show that when […]

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  • Flash! Republicans urge free speech on college campuses

    October 10, 2012

    With the elections imminent and rivalries fiercely cresting, I was surprised and very pleased to find this on page 12 of the Republican Party’s national platform: “We oppose governmental censorship of speech through the so—called Fairness Doctrine or by government enforcement of speech codes, free speech zones or other forms of ‘political correctness’ on campus.” This clarion call to our most fundamental individual constitutional freedom is a much—needed recognition by the GOP that many colleges and universities have long been dictating what views can and cannot be expressed on campus by individual students and professors. So far this recognition has […]

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  • 5 Free Speech Threats to Watch Out for on Campus This Election Season

    September 11, 2012

    In its 13 years defending free speech on colleges campuses nationwide, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), where I have worked since 2008, has won nearly 250 public victories on behalf of students and faculty. FIRE has been responsible for well over 100 reforms of unconstitutional and illiberal campus speech policies, with the total number of affected students reaching into the millions.  Needless to say, in all that time FIRE has seen certain types of violations committed over and over. Now, with the linens and seersucker put away and the new school year officially in business, I thought I would […]

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  • U. of Cincinnati loses free speech lawsuit – is another Ohio college next?

    August 23, 2012

    As a native of Toledo, Ohio (Go Mud Hens!), I guess I should be happy that my home state is so flush with cash that it had $200,000 in taxpayer funds to waste in the latest doomed attempt by a public university to violate the constitutional rights of its students. Since 2007, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE, where I work) has been warning the University of Cincinnati (UC) that confining student speech to a tiny “Free Speech Area” that covered a mere 0.1% of the school’s 137-acre campus is unconstitutional. UC was dead serious about enforcing this policy — the school […]

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  • District Court: Campuses Can’t Quarantine Free Speech

    August 23, 2012

    by Greg Lukianoff The Huffington Post When I posted the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education’s (FIRE, where I work) list of the 12 Worst Colleges for Free Speech back in March, we chose not to present the schools in any particular order. But it was no accident that we opened our list with the University of Cincinnati. The school had truly earned its place on the list by restricting free speech on campus to a tiny spot that comprised just 0.1 percent of the school’s 137-acre campus — and by threatening students who wanted to get a petition signed outside of that miniscule zone with […]

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  • Campus speech

    August 23, 2012

    A federal judge ordered the University of Cincinnati to liberate its “free speech zone,” a small plot on the campus where students can exercise their First Amendment speech rights without interference or restriction. The restriction also applied to gathering petition signatures. “Limiting student expression to just 0.1% of the campus was bad enough. Threatening to call police if students were caught gathering signatures for a petition was even worse. The decision to waste taxpayer money defending such unconstitutional censorship was completely indefensible,” said Greg Lukianoff, president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education.    

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  • Univ. of Cincinnati Wrongly Barred Students from Passing Right-to-Work Petitions on Campus, Federal Judge Says

    June 20, 2012

    (CNSNews.com) - A federal judge in Cincinnati has ruled that the University of Cincinnati (UC) violated the First Amendment rights of students when the university barred a conservative student group from gathering signatures on campus for a statewide ballot initiative to support the right-to-work in Ohio. U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Black ruled unconstitutional regulations set in place by the university that had prohibited the students from collecting signatures on campus, had required them to register for up to 15 days before engaging in political speech, and threatened them with arrest for violation of the rules. In his ruling, Judge Black […]

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  • U Cincinnati Free Speech Restrictions Struck Down in Court

    June 19, 2012

    United States District Judge Timothy S. Black has ruled that the University of Cincinnati’s free speech zone violates the First Amendment and cannot stand. Prior to today’s court order, UC had required all “demonstrations, pickets, and rallies” to be held in a “Free Speech Area” that comprises just 0.1% of the university’s 137-acre West Campus. University policy further required that all expressive activity in the free speech zone be registered with the university a full ten working days in advance, threatening that “[a]nyone violating this policy may be charged with trespassing.” The order prohibits UC from enforcing their policy and is […]

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  • University Of Cincinnati Free Speech Zones Ruled Unconstitutional By Federal Judge

    June 14, 2012

    A federal court told the University of Cincinnati it must rewrite policies restricting protests on campus. U.S. District Judge Timothy Black ruled Tuesday that UC was violating students’ free speech rights by restricting protests to a “free speech zone” and by requiring prior notification and permission. “It is simply unfathomable that a UC student needs to give the university advance notice of an intent to gather signatures for a ballot initiative,” Black wrote in a preliminary injunction. “There is no danger to public order arising out of students walking around campus with clipboards seeking signatures.” The ruling was issued in a case brought by the […]

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  • On-campus free speech slowly improving

    April 5, 2012

    Although only 12 are listed on the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education‘s (FIRE) list of “Worst Colleges for Free Speech in 2012,” the organization asserts that the roll could be much longer. FIRE vice president Robert Shibley says the list includes institutions that severely violate the speech rights of students, faculty members — and sometimes both. “Our number-one was the University of Cincinnati in Ohio, where they limit demonstrations, pickets and rallies to only one-tenth of one percent of their campus – and you have to reserve that ten days in advance,” he details. That is a small portion of the […]

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  • Don’t speak: Report ranks 2012’s ‘Worst Colleges for Free Speech’ in the country

    April 2, 2012

    Last week, the Foundation For Individual Rights in Education released its second-annual “Worst Colleges for Free Speech” list. The Philadelphia-based nonprofit named 12 U.S. colleges and universities that, in its view, continue to impose limits on student speech — even after intense pressure from FIRE and others.  FIRE president Greg Lukianoff released the list on his Huffington Post blog.  Topping the dozen was the University of Cincinnati, due to a pending civil rights lawsuit filed against them by Young Americans for Liberty, a Ron Paul-inspired activist group. In February, the officially sanctioned student organization was limited to a small “free […]

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  • Free speech at University of Cincinnati under ‘FIRE’

    April 2, 2012

    CINCINNATI – In the midst of a federal civil rights lawsuit alleging First Amendment violations by the University of Cincinnati, the school received another black eye last week when it was named one of the nation’s worst colleges for free speech. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) – a nonprofit educational foundation that promotes individual rights and due process at colleges and universities throughout the United States – named UC to its 2012 list of “The 12 Worst Colleges for Free Speech” March 27. The list – which includes such schools as Harvard University, Yale University, Syracuse University […]

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  • The top 12 worst colleges for free speech

    March 28, 2012

    Who doesn’t love a good awards show? The gowns, the acceptance speeches, the brutal infringements of civil liberties … the excitement just never ends. Once again, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE, where I work), has sorted through the hundreds of colleges and universities across the nation that severely restrict the First Amendment rights of their students, and is ready to present a “dirty dozen” of colleges that have attacked freedom of speech with such zeal that we cannot help but (dis)honor them. While it was difficult to choose from such a wide talent pool, certain schools took our breath […]

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  • UC Gets Drawn into Free Speech Battle

    March 28, 2012

    Our own University of Cincinnati is at the very top of a new national list of colleges and universities released March 27, ranking above such hallowed institutions as Harvard, Yale and Johns Hopkins. Unfortunately, the list doesn’t involve academics or athletics, and isn’t exactly anything to brag about. UC topped the list of the “12 worst colleges for free speech in 2012.” The list, compiled by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), includes schools that have “severely violated free speech rights” and persistently refused to acknowledge their mistakes, the group said. The list is sure to gain UC […]

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  • ‘Right to work’ students sue University of Cincinnati over ‘Free Speech Area’

    February 24, 2012

    Zero point one percent. Out of the 8,506,833 square feet (approximately 137 acres) of its West Campus, the University of Cincinnati (UC), a public university, has decided that students may exercise their rights to “demonstrate, picket, or rally” on a small scrap of land that constitutes 0.1 percent of the campus. If they dare to exercise these basic rights outside of that “Free Speech Area,” they will be reported to the campus police and charged with trespassing. Oh, and students cannot even indulge in free expression on this scrap of land unless they file an official request with the administration […]

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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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  • FIRE’s ‘Don’t Cage My Speech!’ Awarded at Anthem Film Festival

    July 15, 2014

    We’re thrilled to report that, for the second time in three years, a FIRE short film has won a prize at FreedomFest’s Anthem Film Festival. FIRE’s film “Don’t Cage My Speech! A Student Schools His College” played to audiences at FreedomFest last week, and Ted Balaker, the film’s director, won the award for Excellence in Filmmaking, Short Documentary on Saturday night. The film’s articulation of the legal challenge—and defeat—of the University of Cincinnati’s unconstitutional “free speech zone” and of free speech’s importance in higher education in eight short minutes is a testament to Ted’s craft.

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  • Speech Code of the Month: Colorado Mesa University

    April 7, 2014

    FIRE announces its Speech Code of the Month for April 2014: Colorado Mesa University. Colorado Mesa’s policy on “Free Speech” limits students’ expressive activities to just one “concrete patio” on the university’s 86-acre campus. While the university has the right to enact reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions, courts have held time and again that onerous restrictions like this one are not reasonable.

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  • Support FIRE’s Fight Against Free Speech Zones

    December 24, 2013

    The free speech gazebo. 0.1%. A “little cement area.” 10-day advance registration. As far too many students sadly know, the vocabulary of campus free speech zones provides a ready example of the absurdity of campus censorship. This year, administrators at Modesto Junior College proved just how far that absurdity extends when they prohibited student Robert Van Tuinen from distributing copies of the Constitution on Constitution Day simply because he hadn’t met the requirements of the school’s free speech zone policy. Robert’s experience isn’t all that unique. Rather than celebrating free expression, too many of our colleges and universities confine it to small areas, restrict it […]

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  • Ron Collins on ‘Dystopian,’ ‘Destructive’ Folly of Campus Free Speech Zones

    November 8, 2013

    Over at Concurring Opinions, noted legal scholar and author Ron Collins has penned a compelling look at the folly of campus free speech zones. Collins writes: Free speech zone – It is shorthand for holding two contradictory opinions while believing in both of them. Incongruous logic, to be sure. And yet, that is the mindset that too many public college administrators impose on students in an attempt to make them believe that the best way to honor the First Amendment is by abridging it. They do so by restricting student speech to tiny “free speech zones” and by strictly controlling access thereto. Such Orwellian […]

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  • U. of Cincinnati Cartoon: Crude? Perhaps. Protected Speech? Absolutely!

    September 24, 2013

    It’s been only a little over a year since a federal court ruled squarely against the University of Cincinnati’s blatantly unconstitutional “free speech zone,” so naturally one would think that administrators there would be boning up on their First Amendment law. Sadly, though, this may not be the case. According to a September 30 column by Nick DeSantis in The Chronicle of Higher Education, Cincinnati administrators are still struggling with the concept that students at public universities have a constitutionally protected right to freedom of speech. The controversy came about after an anonymous student apparently circulated this cartoon (PDF). DeSantis […]

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  • Don’t Cage My Speech! A Student Schools His College (VIDEO)

    September 12, 2013

    When Chris Morbitzer and his University of Cincinnati (UC) chapter of Young Americans for Liberty sought permission to gather signatures across UC’s campus for a time-sensitive, statewide ballot initiative, their request was denied. Morbitzer was told that if he and his group were seen gathering signatures outside of the school’s tiny and restrictive “free speech zone,” campus security would be called and they could be arrested. “I think it is absurd that they were threatening to put me in jail for exercising what is a constitutional right,” says Morbitzer in FIRE’s latest video. Dismayed that he might not be able […]

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  • Misunderstanding ‘Time, Place, and Manner’ Restrictions

    November 6, 2012

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

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  • Learning and Unlearning Liberty at the U. of Cincinnati

    August 28, 2012

    Last week, we brought you news of the final nail in the University of Cincinnati’s (UC’s) “free speech zone” coffin: A federal district court in Ohio issued a permanent injunction against UC’s unconstitutional policy restricting student expressive activity to a tiny area of campus and requiring students to register such activity with the university ten working days in advance. The court’s order made final its earlier decision, via preliminary injunction, to enjoin the university from enforcing the policy. As we have happily declared, last week’s ruling is a significant win for students’ First Amendment rights on campus. The News Record, […]

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  • FIRE VP Shibley Wonders: Does Ohio Have Infinite Money to Burn?

    August 24, 2012

    FIRE’s Robert Shibley has taken to The Daily Caller to report on FIRE’s latest speech code litigation victory at the University of Cincinnati. For more on the case and Cincinnati’s disregard for free speech (and apparently the wise stewardship of taxpayer funds), visit The Daily Caller.

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  • Ignoring FIRE is Expensive

    August 23, 2012

    With the “free speech zone” policy at the University of Cincinnati’s inevitable failure in federal court yesterday, FIRE President Greg Lukianoff took to The Huffington Post today to remind universities that when FIRE says a speech code is unconstitutional, they should probably listen—lest they cost taxpayers money. The 1851 Center for Constitutional Law, the organization FIRE partnered with to coordinate the challenge, reports that $200,000 of taxpayer funds were authorized for use to defend the doomed speech code.   To put it simply, that’s wasted money, and UC should have dismantled its free speech zone years ago. As Greg states […]

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  • Federal Court Delivers Final Blow to U. of Cincinnati ‘Free Speech Zone’

    August 22, 2012

    Here’s today’s press release:  CINCINNATI, August 22, 2012—In a major victory for student rights, a federal district court issued a final ruling today prohibiting the University of Cincinnati (UC) from reinstating its tiny “free speech zone.” In today’s order, United States District Judge Timothy S. Black issued a permanent injunction against UC’s unconstitutional system of speech restriction.  The court’s decision comes hard on the heels of yesterday’s startling resignation of UC President Gregory H. Williams, who reportedly did not provide any explanation for his sudden decision to quit a mere week before students return to campus. “Limiting student expression to […]

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  • Federal Court Delivers Final Blow to U. of Cincinnati ‘Free Speech Zone’

    August 22, 2012

    CINCINNATI, August 22, 2012—In a major victory for student rights, a federal district court issued a final ruling today prohibiting the University of Cincinnati (UC) from reinstating its tiny “free speech zone.” In today’s order, United States District Judge Timothy S. Black issued a permanent injunction against UC’s unconstitutional system of speech restriction. The court’s decision comes hard on the heels of yesterday’s startling resignation of UC President Gregory H. Williams, who reportedly did not provide any explanation for his sudden decision to quit a mere week before students return to campus. “Limiting student expression to just 0.1% of campus […]

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  • Will in ‘Huffington Post’: Free Speech 1, Free Speech Zone 0

    June 20, 2012

    Last week, a federal court in Ohio issued a preliminary injunction prohibiting the University of Cincinnati (UC) from enforcing its unconstitutional policy of limiting expressive activity on campus to a free speech zone roughly the size of a postage stamp. I joke, but the free speech zone was tiny, covering only 0.1% of the university campus. Indeed, UC’s free speech zone earned the university a spot atop FIRE’s 2012 list of the 12 worst colleges for free speech in the nation.  FIRE Director of Legal and Public Advocacy Will Creeley has written an article for The Huffington Post about this important […]

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  • This Month in FIRE History: Speech Code Falls at Citrus College

    June 19, 2012

    Last week, United States District Judge Timothy S. Black held that the University of Cincinnati’s (UC’s) “free speech zone” policy “violates the First Amendment and cannot stand.” This victory came after FIRE helped coordinate a federal lawsuit in cooperation with Ohio’s 1851 Center for Constitutional Law on behalf of UC’s chapter of Young Americans for Liberty (YAL), a campus group that had its First Amendment rights suppressed while attempting to gather signatures for a statewide petition. This was not FIRE’s first such victory, however. Almost nine years ago to the day, FIRE announced the first victory of our Speech Code […]

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  • Victory for Student Rights: Federal Court Strikes Down University of Cincinnati’s Tiny Free Speech Zone

    June 15, 2012

    by William Creeley The Huffington Post   One thing’s for sure: The University of Cincinnati can’t say it never saw this week’s big courtroom win for student speech rights coming. That’s because back in March, my organization, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, published a list of the 12 worst colleges for free speech in the nation here at The Huffington Post – and UC was right at the top of our list. How did UC earn this dubious distinction? Well, prior to this week, UC maintained an incredibly tiny free-speech zone, limiting student “demonstrations, pickets, and rallies” to a space covering a miniscule […]

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  • Three Key Points to UC Court Victory

    June 14, 2012

    Well, the University of Cincinnati can’t say it didn’t see this week’s big court victory for student speech coming. After all, FIRE has been warning UC for years now about the constitutional deficiencies in the free speech zone policy enjoined by a federal district court in Tuesday’s order. Had UC taken FIRE’s advice back in 2007, it could have saved itself the embarrassment of fighting against (and losing to) the First Amendment in court—and saved Ohio taxpayers money, too. But UC wanted to do things the hard way. General Counsel Mitchell McCrate told FIRE in 2008 that “[w]e have no […]

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  • Federal Court: University of Cincinnati Free Speech Zone Violates First Amendment, ‘Cannot Stand’

    June 12, 2012

    CINCINNATI, June 12, 2012—In a ringing victory for student rights, a federal district court declared today that the University of Cincinnati’s (UC’s) tiny “free speech zone” violates the First Amendment. In his order enjoining enforcement of the challenged free speech zone policy, United States District Judge Timothy S. Black held that UC’s free speech zone “violates the First Amendment and cannot stand.” The suit was filed by Ohio’s 1851 Center for Constitutional Law in cooperation with the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE). “Once again, a federal court has been forced to remind a public university of its constitutional obligation to […]

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  • Watch FIRE on ‘Stossel’ This Week

    April 19, 2012

    FIRE President Greg Lukianoff appears on ‘Stossel’ this week to discuss free speech on campus. The show also features students from FIRE’s cases at Auburn University, which selectively ordered a student’s Ron Paul banner to be taken down despite leaving many others on display, and the University of Cincinnati, which threatened to arrest students if they tried to gather petition signatures outside the university’s tiny “free speech zone.” The episode first airs Thursday evening at 9 pm Eastern on Fox Business Network. Tune in!

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  • ‘12 Worst Colleges for Free Speech’ List in the News

    March 30, 2012

    Tuesday, The Huffington Post released FIRE’s list of the 12 Worst Colleges for Free Speech in 2012. In addition to the social media storm the story generated, the list caught the attention of a number of media outlets:  University of Cincinnati’s appearance at the top of the list garnered the attention of Cincinnati City Beat. In “UC Gets Drawn into Free Speech Battle,” University of Cincinnati spokesman Greg Hand mischaracterizes the school’s “free speech zone” policy, so FIRE responded to his claim here. Syracuse, New York, press Syracuse.com, CNYCentral.com, and WSYR-TV (Channel 9 in Syracuse) have noted Syracuse University’s placement […]

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  • University of Cincinnati Needs to Learn to Read

    March 29, 2012

    Citybeat.com, a Cincinnati news and opinion website, features a story on FIRE’s list of the 12 Worst Colleges for Free Speech, the University of Cincinnati’s placement on that list, and the ongoing federal civil rights lawsuit filed last month against UC for its free speech policies and practices.  Unfortunately, when it comes to their problems with free speech, UC is still in a state of denial. As my colleague Will Creeley pointed out a few weeks ago, the spin coming out of UC is really something to behold. Alas, it continues. Everyone here at FIRE put palm to face when […]

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  • FIRE’s 12 Worst Colleges for Free Speech in 2012

    March 27, 2012

    Here’s today’s press release:  PHILADELPHIA, March 27, 2012—The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) released its 2012 list of the 12 Worst Colleges for Free Speech in The Huffington Post today. Harvard is new to the list this year, joining Yale, Syracuse, and the University of Cincinnati at the top of the list. “These colleges and universities have deeply violated the principles that are supposed to animate higher education,” said FIRE President Greg Lukianoff. “Sunlight is one of the best disinfectants, and the public needs to know which schools to watch out for.”  Although schools appear on the list in no particular […]

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  • ‘News Record’ on Free Speech Zone Lawsuit at University of Cincinnati

    March 8, 2012

    The News Record at the University of Cincinnati (UC) reports on the latest in the federal civil rights lawsuit involving the university’s “free speech zone.” UC’s chapter of Young Americans for Liberty (UC YAL) filed suit after the group was told that UC would call the campus cops if they were seen “walk[ing] around campus” gathering signatures rather than staying in UC’s minuscule free speech zone—a pathetic 0.1% of the university’s 137-acre West Campus. Will wrote about the case yesterday, explaining that UC has no leg to stand on in pretending that it is “accommodating” its students, since UC actually […]

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  • With Federal Lawsuit Filed, University of Cincinnati Allows Student Group Temporary Reprieve From Free Speech Zone — But Continues to Defend Illiberal Policy

    March 7, 2012

    Apparently, it takes nothing short of a federal civil rights lawsuit before the University of Cincinnati will allow a student group to gather signatures outside the confines of its restrictive “free speech zone.”  That’s the depressing lesson learned by UC’s chapter of Young Americans for Liberty (UC YAL), whose members may now collect signatures in support of a state ballot amendment following a temporary agreement reached by the group’s attorneys and the university. Under the terms of the “standstill agreement,” UC YAL members may now gather signatures and talk to their fellow students outside of the university’s free speech zone—a […]

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  • Will IU’s ‘Free Speech Zone’ Fall Next? A Former FIRE Intern Investigates

    March 1, 2012

    In the Indiana Daily Student this week, former FIRE intern and senior Nico Perrino writes about free speech issues at his school, Indiana University-Bloomington (IU). His piece discusses the recent lawsuit filed by students at the University of Cincinnati challenging that campus’s restrictive “Free Speech Zone.” As Nico points out, IU has similar restrictions on how students can use public spaces on campus, limiting “free speech” to just two areas on campus and spontaneous events to just one. He writes compellingly about the confusion sown by contradictory and unevenly enforced policies: While it might seem like IU does not always […]

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  • Robert in ‘Daily Caller’: U of Cincinnati Has It Coming with Student Lawsuit Challenging Restrictive Policy

    February 24, 2012

    Today in The Daily Caller, FIRE Senior Vice President Robert Shibley examines the student lawsuit that FIRE has helped to coordinate at the University of Cincinnati, challenging the university’s extremely restrictive “free speech zone” policy. While FIRE has over the years encountered its share of unconstitutional free speech zones on college campuses, the University of Cincinnati’s policy, as Robert writes, is uniquely burdensome of protected student speech. Robert’s piece examines the impact of such a restriction on basic expressive activity: A quick look at the history of demonstrations and protests in the United States reveals why restrictive policies like the […]

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  • University of Cincinnati Sued Over Free Speech Zone

    February 23, 2012

    CINCINNATI, February 23, 2012—A student group filed suit yesterday against the University of Cincinnati in federal district court, alleging that the university’s tiny “free speech zone” violates the First Amendment. The University of Cincinnati chapter of Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) and its president, student Christopher Morbitzer, sought permission to gather signatures and talk to students across campus in support of a statewide “right to work” ballot initiative, but the request was denied. Morbitzer was told that if any YAL members were seen “walk[ing] around campus” gathering signatures, campus security would be alerted. Morbitzer and YAL seek a temporary restraining […]

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  • University of Cincinnati Sued Over Free Speech Zone

    February 23, 2012

    Here is today’s press release: CINCINNATI, February 23, 2012—A student group filed suit yesterday against the University of Cincinnati in federal district court, alleging that the university’s tiny “free speech zone” violates the First Amendment. The University of Cincinnati chapter of Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) and its president, student Christopher Morbitzer, sought permission to gather signatures and talk to students across campus in support of a statewide “right to work” ballot initiative, but the request was denied. Morbitzer was told that if any YAL members were seen “walk[ing] around campus” gathering signatures, campus security would be alerted.  Morbitzer and […]

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  • Speech Code of the Month: University of Cincinnati

    December 5, 2007

    FIRE announces its Speech Code of the Month for December 2007: the University of Cincinnati. The University of Cincinnati maintains a “Free Speech Area” policy (see page 10 of manual) limiting free speech to one area of campus and requiring that activities even in that area be formally scheduled through the Campus Scheduling Office. These free speech zone policies are typically very unpopular with students, and FIRE has successfully challenged a number of them, including at West Virginia University, the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, Texas Tech University, Citrus College, the University of Nevada-Reno, and Colorado State University. So if these […]

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