Freedom of Conscience

In October 2012, Trinity College’s Board of Trustees unanimously approved the recommendations of a report prepared by the college’s specially created Charter Committee for Building Social Community at Trinity College. The report includes a new Social Code that imposes dramatic new regulations on “social organizations,” primarily fraternities and sororities. Among its numerous requirements, the code... Read more Read more


Free Speech

At Rhode Island College, Dr. Lisa Church was threatened with disciplinary action after refusing to punish two mothers for making constitutionally protected comments that offended another mother at RIC’s cooperative preschool, of which Professor Church is the coordinator. The offended mother filed a “discrimination” complaint with RIC asking for “some action to be taken” against... Read more Read more


Free Speech

At the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill a Christian fraternity, Alpha Iota Omega (AIO), was stripped of its recognition after UNC administrator Jonathan Curtis declared that the fraternity was required to add an unconstitutional “nondiscrimination” clause to its student group constitution. AIO objected to the “nondiscrimination” clause because it would have forbidden the... Read more Read more


Free Speech

The Catholic University of America (CUA) denied official approval to a group of students wishing to start a campus chapter of the NAACP. Despite university policies that protect student freedoms of dissent and expression, CUA argued that the existence of two other minority groups on campus made the group unnecessary. Facing pressure from FIRE and... Read more Read more


Free Speech

FIRE joined a large coalition in filing an amicus brief on behalf of Warner Brothers Television Productions et al., who successfully urged the California Supreme Court to unanimously reverse a state appellate court decision could have had a profoundly chilling implications for free speech. In this case, Plaintiff Amaani Lyle, who was briefly a writer’s... Read more Read more


Free Speech

The University of Alabama (UA) ordered a faculty group that is critical of the university’s grading policies to pay a rate eight times higher than that paid by other faculty organizations for use of the university’s mail system. In an edition of its newsletter, The Alabama Observer, the Alabama Scholars Association (ASA) presented evidence of... Read more Read more


Free Speech

FIRE protested University of South Carolina Professor Lynn Weber’s imposition of a political litmus test in order to succeed in “Women’s Studies 797: Seminar in Women’s Studies,” which was required of students who sought to earn a graduate certificate in Women’s Studies. Professor Weber’s “Guidelines for Classroom Discussion” required students to “acknowledge that racism, classism, sexism,... Read more Read more


Free Speech

As part of its ongoing Speech Code Litigation project, FIRE supported a lawsuit against State University of New York at Brockport. The suit, which was settled in May of 2005, required the school to repeal its unconstitutional policies and publicize the changes in policy through official channels such as the newspaper and college handbooks. Representing... Read more Read more


Free Speech

Shock jock Jason Antebi, a student at Occidental College, served for three years as host of a popular student radio show known for political parody, provocative humor, and frequent mocking of Occidental’s administration, its student government, and various political and social causes. In response to Antebi’s biting on-air satire, three students filed sexual harassment complaints... Read more Read more


Free Speech

At Missouri State University (then called Southwest Missouri State University), administrators investigated a faculty advisor, Professor Wanda Brandon, and student editor, Mandy Phillips of its campus newspaper, The Standard, for publishing an editorial cartoon that a Native American group found “offensive.” Jana Estergard of SMSU’s Office of Equal Opportunity (OEO) contacted Professor Brandon to request... Read more Read more



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