Free Speech

In July 2020, UVA student Morgan Bettinger found the street blocked by protesters as she drove home from work. She told the driver of a city garbage truck, which blocked the street, “it’s a good thing that you are here because, otherwise, these people would have been speed bumps.” Although UVA’s equal opportunity office determined... Read more Read more


Free Speech

After Iowa’s legislature adopted a statute barring certain “concepts” from mandatory trainings provided by public universities, Iowa State University issued guidance warning its faculty that the law limits class discussions that could be construed as “required.” On July 27, 2021, FIRE wrote to the university, explaining that the law was not intended to reach classroom... Read more Read more


Free Speech

In October 2020, two students presented a proposal to Illinois Tech’s student senate to start a Turning Point USA chapter at the university. The chapter was denied recognition after student senators cited “problematic occurrences of systemic racism” and “controversies with several activists, speakers, and supporters of” the TPUSA national organization. The students later withdrew a... Read more Read more


Freedom of Conscience

In February 2021, a Bridgewater State University student tweeted a screenshot of a hypothetical question from a research survey that negatively portrayed Black Lives Matter. The purpose of the survey was to examine how the language used to frame an issue affects perceptions and decision-making. The screenshot sparked an outcry, and in response, BSU’s Racial... Read more Read more


Free Speech

In March 2021, after discussing dissatisfaction with content in student newspaper The Torch, the Student Activity Fee Committee at Lane Community College voted to reduce funding for the publication by more than $5,000, depending on enrollment — a reduction later slightly reduced. This recommendation was subsequently affirmed by the Lane Board of Education. On July... Read more Read more


Free Speech

On May 3, 2021, Haverford’s student body passed a resolution amending the Social Honor Code to impose new restrictions on speech, including “political beliefs” that “perpetuate discrimination.” The resolution then proceeded to the administration for review. FIRE wrote to Haverford on May 7, calling on the administration to reject the proposed amendments and to revise... Read more Read more


Free Speech

On May 17, 2021, Dan Johnson, an associate professor at UNC Wilmington, posted “Blow up Republicans” on his personal Facebook account. Johnson later deleted the post. The university’s administration correctly deemed the post protected expression, but a university trustee called on the university to conduct an investigation and argued that the professor should be “held... Read more Read more


Free Speech

In an April 15, 2021, class, American government professor Michelle Swers read from the  landmark Supreme Court case on incitement, Brandenburg v. Ohio, reciting the Klansman’s speech at issue: “Personally, I believe the nigger should be returned to Africa and the Jew returned to Israel.” Students sent a letter to Swers demanding an apology, a... Read more Read more


Free Speech

In April 2021, UNC-Chapel Hill’s Hussman School of Journalism and Media announced that Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones, creator of The New York Times’s 1619 Project, would join Hussman faculty as Knight Chair in Race and Investigative Journalism. The faculty and administration recommended to the Board of Trustees that, in keeping with the past Knight... Read more Read more


Free Speech

In April 2021, as part of Cornell’s anti-racism initiative, a Faculty Senate working group issued a report proposing an “educational requirement” for faculty, which would require that faculty candidates for renewal, promotion, or tenure submit a statement of contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion. In a June 7 letter to Cornell, FIRE called on the... Read more Read more



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