Boston College: Red Light Rating

Category: Free Speech
Schools: Boston College

Boston College (BC) promises that all of its students have the right “to learn, which includes the right of access to ideas, the right of access to facts and opinions, the right to express ideas, and the right to discuss those ideas with others.” At the same time, BC undercuts those promises with other restrictive policies, and it has taken several actions to interfere with these rights. BC thus misleads students who count on its promises of fundamental intellectual rights, restricting speech that would be protected on a public campus. Although BC is a private college dedicated both to “intellectual excellence” and its “Jesuit, Catholic heritage,” misleading students in this way is a serious problem, and BC has now earned FIRE’s worst, “red light” rating. Unless BC openly admits that it is not truly dedicated to free expression (which is its right as a private college) or removes its speech restrictions, BC will keep its “red light” rating so that prospective students know that BC will not honor its stated commitments to freedom of expression should they choose to attend.