Valdosta State University: Freedom of Expression on Campus Limited to Unconstitutional Free Speech Zone

Category: Cases, Free Speech
Schools: Valdosta State University

Valdosta State University (VSU) President Patrick J. Schloss announced that VSU would rescind its unconstitutional policy that had restricted campus speech to a "free speech zone," a move that prompted FIRE to remove VSU from its Red Alert list. VSU’s previous policy restricted the free expression of all "persons wishing to speak on campus" to one small stage, the use of which was restricted to two non-consecutive hours per day-and only on weekdays. FIRE wrote former VSU President Ronald Zaccari to inform him that VSU "cannot lawfully quarantine free expression to just one area of the school’s 168-acre campus." FIRE then wrote two additional letters to VSU, produced a short film, and bought an advertisement in the 2009 edition of U.S. News & World Report’s America’s Best Colleges issue, noting its placement on the Red Alert list. President Schloss announced in a letter to FIRE that VSU’s General Public Forum Venue policy had been changed to comply with the First Amendment.