The Ohio State University: Students and Faculty Required to Sign Belief ‘Pledge’


The Ohio State University

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Case Overview

FIRE Victory closed

In July 2020, OSU announced it would require all members of the university community to sign the “Together As Buckeyes Pledge” in order to return to campus for the fall semester. While the pledge included general statements about health and safety on campus, it also required students and faculty to agree that they hold various personal beliefs, including beliefs in “excellence,” “diversity,” “inclusion,” “affordability,” “collaboration,” and more. As FIRE explained in an August 3 letter to OSU, that portion of the pledge would violate the First Amendment right against compelled speech. After a conversation with FIRE, later that week OSU revised the pledge to clarify that there is no requirement for individual affirmation of the values in the pledge.