After instituting “Free Assembly Areas” around campus, constituting a small percentage of the actual grounds, the University of Central Florida drew criticism from FIRE for its disregard of the First Amendment. After twice preventing The Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) from protesting under the Golden Rule’s “Free Assembly Areas” policy, the University of Central Florida then further diminished students’ First Amendment rights by implementing a “Free Assembly Areas” policy from the Student Union, a policy inconsistent with the Golden Rule’s, recognizing different areas on campus as free speech zones. The SDS was forced to cease protesting, even though they were within the designated area under the Golden Rule’s policy, because it conflicted with the Student Assembly. Not only is UCF limiting free speech by introducing these policies, but they are then further inhibiting students’ rights to free speech and assembly by having disparate policies. FIRE continues to criticize UCF, as the school has yet to eliminate their inconsistent and unconstitutional measures.
December 17, 2006
One minute, members of Students for a Democratic Society were sitting in a breezeway, holding signs asking other students to discuss a possible war in Iran.The next, the University of Central Florida police were accusing the campus activists of trespassing and were threatening them with arrest if they didn’t move to a designated “free-assembly area.” That event in April launched an ongoing dispute over free speech at UCF that echoes similar struggles between university administrators and students across the country. Officials at the campus east of Orlando say they’re just trying to prevent protesters from blocking entrances or disturbing classes […]» Read More
December 6, 2006
by Mark Harper Daytona Beach News-Journal Months after campus police broke up an Iraq war protest because students were gathered outside “free-assembly zones,” a University of Central Florida committee is reconsidering those policies. The review comes after a student grievance, a Student Senate resolution and an intervention by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), a Philadelphia-based civil rights organization. “It is simply unacceptable for UCF to transform the vast majority of its campus into a censorship area,” FIRE President Greg Lukianoff said in a news release. “The current policy is unconstitutional and must be repealed.” Maribeth Ehasz, […]» Read More
December 4, 2006
ORLANDO, Fla., December 4, 2006—The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) is calling on the University of Central Florida (UCF) to repeal its unlawful and unfair “free speech zone” policy. This policy quarantines free speech at UCF to four areas covering only a small percentage of its campus. “It is simply unacceptable for UCF to transform the vast majority of its campus into a censorship area,” FIRE President Greg Lukianoff said. “The current policy is unconstitutional and must be repealed.” UCF’s Free Assembly Areas policy states that only “four areas shall be deemed free assembly areas for the conduct […]» Read More