University of California at Irvine: Administrators Suppress Speech in Support of Graduate Student Strike with Vague Policy


University of California, Irvine

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FIRE Victory closed

In November 2022, the University of California, Irvine, prevented its graduate and undergraduate student governments from using a university email platform (ZotMail) to support striking graduate students, citing the university’s policies prohibiting students’ “political” speech on the system. On December 9, FIRE wrote UCI explaining three ways it erred: Its denial of the messages appears to be viewpoint discriminatory, the policy fails to define “political” speech, and it exercised unconstitutional prior review and a prior restraint in denying the messages. UCI did not respond to FIRE, and the graduate student strike ended. On January 12, 2023, FIRE wrote again to UCI to express our concern that the university continues to maintain its electronic communications policy, which blanketly bans all “political” speech on ZotMail. On January 20, UCI approved a ZotMail message from the graduate student government explaining that messages about the strike had been censored by the administration.