Harvard president defends free speech in commencement speech; Harvard still actively suppresses student rights
Yesterday, Harvard celebrated its 366th commencement, and those watching in the audience and at home were treated to an ironic display as Harvard President Drew Gilpin Faust gave an address in full support of free speech.
The speech includes an eloquent defense of the merits of free speech, making many of the points that FIRE has been making and endorsing since our founding in 1999. Especially compelling is Faust’s nuanced treatment of the cost of freedom of expression, how that cost is necessarily paid for the pursuit of the truth, and the [...] » Read More
Last week, the Orange Coast College Republicans announced that they had filed a “formal grievance” against Professor Jessica Alabi, alleging that she had prevented members of the club from attending an “African-American/Women’s round table discussion in the Multicultural Center” in March.
Among other demands, the College Republicans have asked that Alabi be investigated and, if she is found to have “discriminated against students on the basis of their ideological viewpoint and party affiliation,” that she be suspended. The College Fix reports that Orange Coast College President Dennis [...] » Read More
Last September, FIRE asked, rhetorically, whether DePaul University was “America’s worst school for free speech.” Last Wednesday, DePaul disinvited Gavin McInnes, a writer and comedian who — long after co-founding Vice Media — founded the pro-Trump, anti-antifa “Proud Boys” movement, because of what DePaul’s president described as “the encouragement of violence.”» Read More
‘For Want of A Degree’: Free speech ‘victor’ denied master’s degree he earned. Can your college or university help?
Almost a decade later, it might still be the cruelest free speech victory FIRE has ever helped win.» Read More
Can Lawrence University take a joke? Apparently not.» Read More
Johnson C. Smith University to students accused of criminal conspiracy: You have the obligation to remain silent
At North Carolina’s Johnson C. Smith University, students accused of a widespread “criminal conspiracy” are being told that they cannot speak to anyone about it, chilling their right to speak out publicly — or privately to an attorney — about a matter of public controversy.» Read More
On May 3, the North Carolina Superior Court in Wake County ratified the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s use of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act to block its student newspaper’s request for public records under the North Carolina’s open records law. The court’s distorted interpretation of FERPA could severely undermine the use of open records laws to create transparency in higher education.» Read More
[UPDATED] Lawrence University suggests student group may be punished for screening ‘Can We Take a Joke?’
Since the FIRE-supported documentary “Can We Take a Joke?” premiered in New York City on Nov. 13, 2015, it has been screened on hundreds of college campuses across the country and has facilitated important discussions about free speech, comedy, and censorship.
Last Wednesday, members of Students for Free Thought at Lawrence University held an on-campus screening of the movie that similarly sparked an important — albeit heated — conversation. While FIRE always works to encourage these very discussions, we are concerned by reports that students and administrators at Lawrence appear to be considering ways to shut down dialogue and punish Students for Free Thought for hosting last week’s event.» Read More
At Notre Dame commencement, Vice President Pence addresses freedom of expression while students exercise it
On Sunday, Vice President Mike Pence delivered the commencement address at the University of Notre Dame. While the vice president spoke about college students’ freedom of expression, some graduating students exercised that right, quietly walking out as the speech began.» Read More
University of Rochester student government cracks down on single-gender organizations, gendered language
Members of single-gender organizations are facing a potential loss of privileges after the University of Rochester’s student government declared their membership practices “discriminatory.”» Read More