University of Toledo: Police Enforce Unwritten Policy to Censor Political Protesters

Category: Free Speech
Schools: University of Toledo

On September 15, 2014, former presidential advisor Karl Rove spoke at UT as part of a university-sponsored lecture series, which was free and open to the public. A group of students and community members aimed to peacefully protest Rove’s appearance and prior involvement in President George W. Bush’s foreign policy by distributing literature outside the lecture venue and carrying signs of protest. Campus police, however, prevented from entering the event with their signs despite the students’ assurances that they would not be disruptive to other attendees and repeatedly failed to cite any UT policy justifying their censorship of the students’ protest. FIRE wrote to UT regarding its unconstitutional censorship of the protesters’ activity on October 10, 2014, having been alerted to the incident by the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC). In response, UT worked with the organizations to craft a new “Expression on Campus” policy, which took effect June 1, 2015, and includes protections for students’ right to peaceful protest and demonstration.

 

  • UT Must do More to Protect Free Speech on Campus

    October 25, 2015

    By Robert L. Shibley at The Blade University of Toledo students returned to campus this fall with their First Amendment rights better protected. After UT police officers prevented students from peacefully protesting a campus appearance by Republican political consultant Karl Rove last year, the university adopted an “expression on campus” policy over the summer that aims to prevent similar problems. But UT still has work to do to eliminate all of its unconstitutional speech policies, and to avoid potential lawsuits. The new policy stems from an incident at Mr. Rove’s UT speech in September, 2014. A group of students and […]

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    September 8, 2015

    By Vanessa McCray at The Blade A new semester arrived with a fresh policy that addresses University of Toledo students’ free speech rights. An “expression on campus” policy now guides campus protests and assemblies. It codifies UT’s commitment “to promote the free exchange of ideas and the safe and efficient operation of the university,” according to the document, which emphasizes the fostering of free speech and right to assemble but prohibits activities that disrupt teaching, business operations, or providing client services. The policy was approved in June by then-interim UT president Nagi Naganathan after complaints about how university police handled […]

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  • After Blocking Karl Rove Protesters Last Year, University of Toledo Adopts Strong New Free-Expression Policy

    August 20, 2015

    By College Fix Staff at The College Fix The University of Toledo has adopted a strong new free-expression policy with the help of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education and American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, FIRE said in a post. Nearly a year ago former George W. Bush political strategist Karl Rove spoke on campus. Protesters – both students and “community members” – tried to distribute literature to the audience and show their posters against Rove for his participation in Bush’s foreign policy, but video captured campus police not letting them come in with their posters. Another video implies that police […]

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  • U. of Toledo Adopts Freedom of Expression Policy After Censoring Karl Rove Protesters

    August 20, 2015

    TOLEDO, Ohio, August 20, 2015—Incoming and returning students at the University of Toledo (UT) will be protected by a newly established policy on freedom of expression. The new policy comes almost a year after campus police officers suppressed the peaceful protest activities of students at a lecture by political strategist Karl Rove. Alongside the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) has worked with UT officials to craft an affirmative statement upholding students’ First Amendment rights, including the right to peaceful protest and demonstration. “FIRE commends the University of Toledo for taking this important step […]

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