Frostburg State University: RAs Who ‘Bad Mouth’ University’s Response to COVID-19 Face ‘Attitude’ Review


Frostburg State University

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FIRE Victory closed

In November 2020, the student newspaper at Frostburg State University reported that Resident Assistants could face negative employee evaluations for “speaking out” about the university’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. That report included an email from a university administrator justifying the policy on the basis that “[i]n the real world, if you bad mouth your employer you could lose your job.” FIRE wrote to Frostburg State on November 13, 2020, calling for an end to the practice because RAs have a First Amendment right to comment as private citizens on matters of public concern. Frostburg State responded by committing only that it would not terminate RAs solely for speech critical of the institution.