This Week in FIRE News: Social Media and Free Speech

By October 21, 2011

The name of the game this week is social media. Fresh off the heels of our battle with Catawba Valley Community College regarding a Facebook post that got student Marc Bechtol banned from campus, we also learned this week that Saint Augustine’s College is extending the punishment of graduate Roman Caple for a comment he posted on Facebook last spring about how the college was handling its recovery from the tornado that struck its Raleigh, N.C., campus. Fortunately for  Bechtol, all charges against him were dropped last Friday Morning, and he is once again free to step foot on campus. But SAC student Caple, on the other hand, was not only prohibited from participating in SAC’s graduation ceremony for his very mild Facebook post, he is now also barred from this weekend’s Homecoming Celebration. Outrageous.

Here’s a recap of where the CVCC case, and other important campus free expression issues, were discussed in the media this week:

On CVCC student Marc Bechtol’s Facebook case:

On the professor who took a box cutter to a free speech wall at Sam Houston State University: 

On the victory for the UND student who was punished for alleged sexual assault:

On viewpoint discrimination in student activity funding at UCSB:

On religious liberty at Vanderbilt University:


On Adam encouraging students to defend free speech rights at SHSU: