Marquette University: Political Quote Banned from Office Door

Category: Free Speech
Schools: Marquette University

In August 2006, a PhD student at Marquette University, Stuart Ditsler, posted a Dave Barry quote on his office door. The quote read, “As Americans we must always remember that we all have a common enemy, an enemy that is dangerous, powerful, and relentless. I refer, of course, to the federal government.” In September, the University administration had the quote taken down because it was “patently offensive.” On September 5, Distler received an email from the Philosophy Department Chair, James South, stating that there had been several complaints about the quote and that it had been removed as a result. FIRE wrote to the University president, Robert A. Wild reminding him of the free speech rights that Marquette had promised to its students and faculty. FIRE never received a response. In June 2009, Dave Barry recorded an interview with FIRE discussing the case and his reasons for cherishing the First Amendment.