University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill: Resident Assistants Feared Firing For Speaking to Media


University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill

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Case Overview

FIRE Victory closed

In October 2020, Resident Assistants at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill were reportedly concerned about the implications of the university’s vague media relations policy, interpreting it as requiring them to refrain from speaking to student journalists. FIRE wrote to UNC Chapel Hill to urge the university to amend its policy to make clear that RAs may speak with the press so long as they are not speaking on behalf of the university or revealing confidential information. In November 2020, UNC clarified its policy by adding that RAs may “comment on their personal experiences, as long as the employee refrains from sharing confidential information” and that the policy “is not intended to limit employees’ rights under the First Amendment to speak as private citizens.”