- Know your college’s policies and know your rights.
- Build coalitions.
- Use common sense.
- Document everything.
- Ask for help.
Going to college means a heap of new, adult responsibilities, like doing your own laundry and making sure you turn that term paper in on time.
But there are also benefits to adulthood. We at FIRE think perhaps the most important of those benefits is your freedom of speech.» Read More
The leaves are changing, Halloween decorations are on store shelves, and students like you are heading back to school for what promises to be a whirlwind year! FIRE is excited to welcome you back with some awesome new resources to help you take your activism to the next level. Whether you are hoping to engage students in debate over controversial viewpoints, or simply make a statement of your own—hosting an event is a great way to engage your peers and bring attention to your cause.
A few things to keep in mind when organizing an event:» Read More
During the summer, many college administrators take advantage of the relative quiet to work on revising their policies. Sometimes the results are constructive, but often the news isn’t so good and students return to campus facing greater restrictions on their speech.
By all indications, many colleges and universities are battening down the hatches for this fall’s presidential campaign, mistakenly thinking that they can avoid controversy by stifling political speech. As my colleague Marieke Tuthill Beck-Coon explained earlier this week, the go-to justification for censorship is the myth that if students engage in political speech, the school will lose its tax-exempt status. Although the institution can’t advocate for a particular candidate, nothing stops students from doing so.» Read More
Student activists advocating for everything from heavy metal music to metal workers’ rights should check out FIRE’s campus activism “Do’s and Don’ts” video, which features helpful tips for any college student who wants to make their voice heard.
FIRE’s tips include:
As the new academic year gets underway on university campuses, students and faculty members concerned about the climate for free speech in higher education may be wondering how they can help. With topics such as “safe spaces,” “trigger warnings,” “hate speech,” and many more continuing to be debated, the start of a new academic year presents a great opportunity for free speech advocates on campus to make a difference.» Read More
According to FIRE’s research, over 93 percent of colleges and universities maintain policies that restrict students’ free speech rights. These policies, which FIRE calls “speech codes,” come in many forms, from onerous restrictions on protest and demonstration to bans on controversial or offensive speech.
Regrettably, many students don’t learn about their school’s restrictions until they land in a dean’s office for violating one. Fortunately, FIRE is here to help.» Read More
To students arriving at college for the first time this fall: Welcome! And to returning students: Welcome back! As you may have seen yesterday, FIRE is kicking off the new academic year by offering students a range of resources for exercising their free speech rights—including, importantly, the right to protest. Throughout the week, we’ll continue to highlight those resources for students on our website, so keep reading!» Read More
You’re back on campus (or will be soon) and the 2016 election season is kicking into high gear. Many of you are probably excited and ready to debate election issues or convince your peers of your favorite candidate’s virtues. Some of you may want to campaign for your candidate. One of the most obvious places you’ll engage in political speech this fall is on your campus—where you live, learn, and interact with hundreds of other young adults.
Some of you will be surprised to find that your college is not as excited as you are about political speech on campus, particularly campaign-related speech.» Read More
This week, FIRE’s getting you ready to head back to school with a series highlighting our favorite resources for student activists.
Whether you’re thinking about joining the FIRE Student Network, planning a campus protest, or want your school to formally commit to free speech by adopting the Chicago Statement on Free Expression, check back here all week for more on some of the ways you can make a difference on your campus. Just look for the backpack icon!» Read More
The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) routinely receives reports from students about colleges censoring political speech during election season.» Read More