Phi Beta Kappa: Member Institutions’ Speech Codes

Category: Cases, Free Speech
Schools: George Mason University

When George Mason University cancelled a speech by filmmaker Michael Moore, the Phi Beta Kappa Society denied George Mason University’s application for a campus chapter of the honor society, citing academic freedom concerns. Given the Society’s professed commitment to freedom of speech, FIRE wrote to Phi Beta Kappa Secretary John Churchill to point out the speech codes that abound at Phi Beta Kappa member institutions. FIRE’s letter specifically called attention to outrageous codes at Cornell UniversityOberlin CollegeThe Ohio State UniversityPenn State UniversityRhodes College, theUniversity of Illinois at Chicago, and West Virginia University. Given Phi Beta Kappa’s stance on GMU, it seems reasonable to assume that the society would uphold the same tenets of academic freedom that it expects from others.