Cases

Jennifer Mosher is a tenured microbiology professor at Marshall University in Huntington, WV. On September 15, 2020, as students were logging on to her virtual lecture, one student made an offhand remark about “thinning the gene pool,” referring to individuals who were not following public health requirements on masking. Mosher agreed, joking that she hoped... Read more Read more


Free Speech

In December 2021, Professor Stuart Reges at the University of Washington Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science criticized the university’s land acknowledgment statement in an email to faculty, and included a modified statement he added to his syllabus. The director of the Allen School instructed Reges to remove the “inappropriate” and “offensive” statement from... Read more Read more


Free Speech

In October 2021, the Emory Free Speech Forum, a proposed law student group “devoted to fostering critical discourse and open dialogue surrounding important issues in law and society,” applied for a charter from Emory Law’s Student Bar Association. Despite fulfilling all criteria for recognition, the SBA refused recognition, criticizing the “nature of this group” because... Read more Read more


Free Speech

On December 3, 2021, an Emory University administrator informed the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity chapter that the group’s Christmas decorations violated a university policy concerning the installation of holiday decorations. The policy requires “[s]orority lodges and fraternity / themed houses” to “request installation of exterior holiday decorations” before November 1, and prohibits students from installing... Read more Read more


Free Speech

Boston University’s mandatory training on preventing discrimination and harassment asks faculty members opinion-based questions and requires them to select the university’s preferred answers to complete the training. On December 17, 2021, FIRE wrote to BU explaining that requiring faculty members to affirm viewpoints with which they may disagree amounts to compelled speech in violation of... Read more Read more


Free Speech

On October 4, 2021, Indiana University Law Professor Steve Sanders published a story on his personal blog criticizing IU’s secretive presidential search. Before he published that story, Sanders learned that a law firm—which IU had previously retained in other matters—made a public records request for Sanders’s emails relating to IU’s presidential search. Sanders hypothesized that... Read more Read more


Free Speech

At a Virginia Tech women’s soccer match on September 26, Senior Associate Athletics Director Reyna Gilbert-Lowry asked student Sean Lohr to “tone it down” after he yelled at a referee. Lohr called her “a glorified PE [physical education] teacher” and exhorted the crowd to jeer her. Gilbert-Lowry then directed campus security to remove him from... Read more Read more


Free Speech

In late 2021, Stanford’s undergraduate student government, following a series of closed-door meetings, denied a request for $6,000 in funding for an event to be hosted by the College Republicans featuring former Vice President Mike Pence. All other pending requests for funding were granted. FIRE wrote to the student government on December 7, 2021, asking... Read more Read more


Free Speech

In 2020, Boston University’s School of Theatre and the university producing company Boston Playwrights’ Theatre passed statements on diversity and anti-racism that included compulsory speech requirements for faculty, and mandated the teaching of certain materials using an explicitly anti-racist framework. The Academic Freedom Committee of BU’s Faculty Council raised concerns that provisions in the statements... Read more Read more



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