Rutgers University: Administration Calls for Individuals to Report Anyone Who Engages in Strike Activities


Rutgers University

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Case Overview

FIRE Victory closed

On April 10, 2023, unions representing Rutgers employees initiated strikes across all three university campuses. According to tweeted screenshots of a statement from Rutgers, the university appeared to direct recipients to report information relating to the strikes to the Office of University Labor Relations and the Office of General Counsel. Although the strikes ended later that week, FIRE still wrote the university on May 25, explaining that to the extent the statement encompassed faculty or students, it violates Rutgers’ binding First Amendment obligation to refrain from compelling speech. While Rutgers may request voluntary reporting, it cannot demand that those under no legal obligation to do so report other individuals for actions the university does not support. We asked the university to provide additional information about the recipients of the statement and to affirm that, should a strike again occur at Rutgers, it will not require members of the university to report strike activities. Rutgers responded on August 4, assuring FIRE that it neither compelled any individual to report strike activities nor threatened them with consequences for not reporting strike activities.