University of California System: Recommendations for “Hate Speech” Policy

Category: Free Speech
Schools: University of California

In July 2012, the University of California’s (UC’s) Advisory Council on Campus Climate, Culture and Inclusion issued formal recommendations to UC System President Mark Yudof for making UC’s 10 campuses “more inclusive and welcoming for Jewish students as well as all community members.” In pursuit of this goal, the report recommended that UC “push its current harassment and nondiscrimination provisions further” and “seek opportunities to prohibit hate speech on campus.” The report also recommended that UC “accept the challenge” of First Amendment litigation resulting from the adoption of such policies. FIRE wrote to President Yudof on August 8, 2012, warning him that any campus ban on “hate speech” would restrict a wide swath of student speech protected under the First Amendment. In response, and in the face of public pressure, Yudof wrote to FIRE on August 17, stating that First Amendment principles would be fully considered in UC’s review of the report. FIRE will continue to monitor this situation at the UC System.