Grambling State University: Ban on Core Political Expression

Category: Free Speech
Schools: Grambling State University

The Media Relations department at GSU sent an e-mail on July 13, 2010, ordering the GSU community to delete all e-mails containing political campaign solicitations and to not forward them because doing so implied support for a particular candidate. FIRE wrote President Frank G. Pogue, explaining that this policy unduly restricted the right to freedom of speech. In response, Director of Public Relations Vanessa Littleton claimed that GSU does not prohibit political expression on campus, but she then cited GSU’s “Email Use Policy,” which substantially restricts freedom of speech. For example, it bans “joke emails” and those containing “offensive comments” about—among other attributes—one’s political beliefs. FIRE wrote President Pogue a second time about these violations of freedom of speech. Pogue responded on October 8, 2010, promising to revise the policy. No policy revisions have been publicly released.