Free Speech

On Nov. 19, 2020, FIRE sent letters to 38 organizations dedicated to the betterment of higher education introducing FIRE’s Model Code of Student Conduct. FIRE’s letter explains how the Model Code is a practical, comprehensive collection of student conduct policies and procedures that sets the gold standard for protecting civil liberties on campus. Our letters... Read more Read more


Free Speech

In November 2020, the student newspaper at Frostburg State University reported that Resident Assistants could face negative employee evaluations for “speaking out” about the university’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. That report included an email from a university administrator justifying the policy on the basis that “[i]n the real world, if you bad mouth your... Read more Read more


Free Speech

On November 10, 2020, FIRE sent letters to 15 top colleges and universities across the country to express concern regarding their restrictive press policies. These letters followed a report published by John K. Wilson of the University of California National Center for Free Speech and Civic Engagement (the “Wilson Report”), which gave each of these... Read more Read more


Free Speech

On November 9, 2020, FIRE wrote to Iowa State University, which pledged to punish “[a]ny suggestion of armed activity.” The university’s pronouncement came in response to a tweet by its College Republicans chapter shortly after the 2020 presidential election: “Everyone, you must arm up, expect these people to attempt to destroy your life, the elites... Read more Read more


Cases

On October 28, 2020, days before the November 2020 election, Susquehanna University — a private institution in Pennsylvania that promises its students freedom of expression — required students to remove political campaign signs from their dormitory windows. In an open letter, the Susquehanna chapters of the College Democrats, College Republicans, and the Young Americans for... Read more Read more


Free Speech

On October 16, 2020, the president of Haskell Indian Nations University, a public university operated by the federal government, sent a letter — styled as a “directive” — to Jared Nally, the Editor-in-Chief of the student newspaper, The Indian Leader. The “directive” said Nally was “someone who routinely attacks Haskell employees with letters,” faulting him... Read more Read more


Free Speech

During the 2020 vice presidential debate, Collin College professor Lora Burnett tweeted that Vice President Michael Pence needed to shut “his little demon mouth up.” After conservative media outlets republished the tweet, state legislators and members of the public demanded Burnett’s termination, and Collin President Neil Matkin said the college’s “execution of its personnel policies”... Read more Read more


Free Speech

In the fall of 2020, a Pomona College administrator directed recognized student organizations to update their constitutions to include language allowing him to remove organization leaders if they used “inappropriate” language or engaged in “advocacy for . . . illegal activities.” On October 9, FIRE wrote to Pomona College, explaining that its commitment to freedom... Read more Read more


Free Speech

In September 2020, graduate student and adjunct History professor Richard Taylor taught a lesson about the history of the “Columbian Exchange,” the transfer of biodiversity and culture resulting from 15th and 16th century transatlantic trade. After a student filed a bias complaint about Taylor’s slideshow, which provided a discussion prompt (“Do the positives justify the... Read more Read more


Free Speech

In September 2020, Muscatine Community College canceled its fall play, which was to be a virtual performance of “Dog Sees God,” a reimagining of the “Peanuts” cartoon in which the characters are high school students grappling with issues such as sexuality and drug use. The cancellation occurred after an administrator had voiced concerns about the... Read more Read more



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