Free Speech

At a Virginia Tech women’s soccer match on September 26, Senior Associate Athletics Director Reyna Gilbert-Lowry asked student Sean Lohr to “tone it down” after he yelled at a referee. Lohr called her “a glorified PE [physical education] teacher” and exhorted the crowd to jeer her. Gilbert-Lowry then directed campus security to remove him from... Read more Read more


Free Speech

In late 2021, Stanford’s undergraduate student government, following a series of closed-door meetings, denied a request for $6,000 in funding for an event to be hosted by the College Republicans featuring former Vice President Mike Pence. All other pending requests for funding were granted. FIRE wrote to the student government on December 7, 2021, asking... Read more Read more


Free Speech

In 2020, Boston University’s School of Theatre and the university producing company Boston Playwrights’ Theatre passed statements on diversity and anti-racism that included compulsory speech requirements for faculty, and mandated the teaching of certain materials using an explicitly anti-racist framework. The Academic Freedom Committee of BU’s Faculty Council raised concerns that provisions in the statements... Read more Read more


Free Speech

On September 21, 2021, University of Rochester English Professor David Bleich read aloud from Harvard Law School Professor Randall Kennedy’s article about whether it is “acceptable for pedagogical purposes to enunciate the epithet ‘nigger’,” enunciating the word himself, following a class discussion about the issue. Bleich did so to prepare students for a discussion on... Read more Read more


Free Speech

On November 30, 2021, Christopher Busey, a professor at the University of Florida, filed a grievance alleging that he was pressured not to use the words “critical” or “race” in his curriculum and program design. On December 2, FIRE wrote to UF arguing that directing faculty to avoid specific words in course titles or program... Read more Read more


Free Speech

In November 2021, the University of Texas at Austin’s administration “paused” a faculty research project, “Kids Against Racism” (“GoKAR!”), evaluating how white caregivers can effectively engage in a dialogue with white children about racism. The research was suspended after Mark Perry, a professor at the University of Michigan-Flint, filed a complaint with the U.S. Department... Read more Read more


Free Speech

In November 2021, an interview of Old Dominion University Prof. Allyn Walker went viral due to public objections to Walker’s research and commentary on “Minor-Attracted Persons,” a term used by some researchers, including Walker, to refer to people who have (but do not act upon) an attraction to minors. The university placed Walker on leave,... Read more Read more


Free Speech

In August 2021, Elizabethtown College’s Turning Point USA student chapter invited political commentator Joe Basrawi to speak at an event. Basrawi chose critical race theory as the topic of his talk. After TPUSA advertised the event on social media, an administrator objected to the flyer’s description of the event (“Critical Hate Theory”) and informed the... Read more Read more


Free Speech

On November 12, 2021, Students Supporting Israel was granted official recognition by Duke University’s student senate. The next day, a Duke student tweeted an article criticizing the vote, complaining that the recognition showed Duke “promotes settler colonialism.” SSI published a screenshot of that tweet, responding to the student by name. On November 14, Duke’s student... Read more Read more


Free Speech

Maryland Institute College of Art faculty member Saul Myers made comments in support of academic freedom and tolerating dissent at two faculty meetings and in an email to a colleague. In April 2021, the email recipient, who also attended the meetings, filed a harassment complaint. MICA concluded Myers’ speech did not amount to harassment, but... Read more Read more



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