Last week, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards signed into law SB364, a bill to protect student expression at public college campuses in the state. The bill passed with bipartisan support in the Louisiana legislature, with votes of 58-25 in the House of Representatives, and 33-0 in the Senate. While the bill helpfully protects several important aspects of campus free expression, it contains some technical errors that need to be resolved.» Read More
Former Michigan State University student and professional football player Keith Mumphery filed a lawsuit against the university last month, arguing it violated his due process rights, Title IX, and state law when it expelled him for alleged acts of sexual misconduct. In an article published in The New York Times last week, Michael Powell puts into context the many procedural deficiencies Mumphery alleges prevented him from receiving a fundamentally fair hearing. In short, MSU is far from the only university with disciplinary procedures that lack critically important safeguards against erroneous findings, and the results can be devastating.» Read More
As boycotts targeting Israel have ramped up in recent years, a number of state legislatures have responded by enacting laws requiring that state government contracts include anti-boycotting provisions. In short, before you enter into a contract with a state entity, you have to promise that you’re not boycotting Israel — an expressive act long recognized as protected by the First Amendment. Because these statutes apply to state colleges and universities, campus speakers — often reimbursed for their travel expenses, or otherwise paid for their time — have discovered that their speaking engagements require them to agree not to boycott [...] » Read More
The FIRE Student Network is thrilled to announce that we are now accepting applications and nominations for FSN’s 2018 Prometheus Society. The Prometheus Society takes its name from the Titan of Greek mythology who stole fire from the gods and gifted it to humankind. In keeping with the moral courage of its namesake, the Prometheus Society includes some of the most dynamic student free speech advocates in the nation.
FIRE’s Azhar Majeed urges free speech advocates to look ‘Beyond the Narratives’ in University of Missouri law journal
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In February, Princeton University President Christopher Eisgruber announced that he will distribute copies of “Speak Freely: Why Universities Must Defend Free Speech” to all Princeton students and faculty as part of the university’s annual “Pre-read” program.
On this episode of So to Speak: The Free Speech Podcast, our guest is Princeton professor Keith Whittington, who is the author of “Speak Freely.” We discuss the latest campus free speech news at Princeton and across the county.
We are also joined by FIRE Vice President of Policy Research Samantha Harris, who is a Princeton alumna and professor Whittington’s former [...] » Read More
Last Wednesday, a bipartisan group of federal legislators introduced the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act of 2018. Sponsored by Senators Bob Casey and Tim Scott, and Representatives Doug Collins, Ted Deutch, Jerrold Nadler, and Peter Roskam, the legislation seeks to address anti-Semitic harassment in our nation’s schools. Unfortunately, because it relies on the U.S. State Department’s definition of anti-Semitism, the bill presents the same basic First Amendment problem that it did in December 2016, when functionally similar legislation passed the U.S. Senate by voice vote before failing to advance further.
Like its earlier incarnation, the bill requires the U.S. Department [...] » Read More
Binghamton University is right to end investigation, but wrong to blame students for littered flyers
Last week, FIRE called attention to recent troubling events at Binghamton University, where campus police officers’ response to students’ posting and distribution of flyers raised questions about students rights at the university. The administration has since walked back some of its threats to student free speech, but there’s still work to do.
Trouble began on March 28, when a group of students posted in Binghamton University’s Downtown Center approximately 200 flyers criticizing the university’s response to recent incidents of perceived racist expression on campus. After about an hour, a campus police officer stopped student Dominic Davy and [...] » Read More
Category: Newsdesk, Top Story Schools: Binghamton University, State University of New York
Our last stop in the Middle Ages is an interview with professor Christine Caldwell Ames, who is an expert on medieval heresy and inquisition in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. The discussion highlights the similarities and differences between Christianity, Catholic and Orthodox, Judaism, and Islam when it comes to defining and policing orthodoxy.
Among the topics discussed are:Was the Medieval Inquisition motivated by worldly power or religious zeal? What effect did the Medieval Inquisition have on ordinary people and local communities? Why has the Spanish Inquisition become so infamous? Was Islamic Spain a haven of religious tolerance compared to the Latin West? Are inquisitions [...] » Read More
We’re excited to announce the launch of the FIRE Faculty Network, a diverse coalition of faculty interested in defending and sustaining academic freedom, free speech, and civil liberties on campus. By joining FIRE’s faculty network, you’ll receive information curated specifically for faculty, including the latest information on FIRE events, legal developments, strategies for activism, and noteworthy research and reporting related to free speech and academic freedom.
If you’re a faculty member, graduate student, or higher education professional interested in getting involved or staying informed on issues related to academic freedom and free speech on campus, sign up today!
We’re [...] » Read More