Ohio University: Political Flyers Censored in Dorms

Category: Free Speech
Schools: Ohio University

In September 2012, Ohio University student Jillyann Burns posted a flyer on the door to her residence hall room, criticizing the policy positions of President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney. Shortly after Burns posted her flyer, a resident assistant warned residents that “NO political posters/flyers should be hung in the hallways or on you[r] door until 14 days before an election.” Following a room inspection on September 17, Burns was informed again of this requirement and the possibility of discipline if she did not comply. FIRE wrote to OU on September 28, informing the university that its restrictions on political flyers violated students’ First Amendment rights. On October 1, Burns was informed that she was once again allowed to post political materials on her door, and that OU would revise and clarify its policies.