Connecticut College—which in past years has earned a red light from FIRE for its speech codes—has password-protected two key documents, the Student Handbook and the Bias Incident Protocol. We at FIRE believe that prospective students and their parents have the right to know whether Connecticut College prohibits free speech—and whether the college even still promises free speech, since those promises were contained in earlier versions of the Student Handbook.
This move is part of a disturbing trend among colleges to restrict access to these documents to those already on campus (we’ve recently seen this happen at DePaul University and Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, to name just two examples), denying those considering attendance a chance to know whether they will be subject to censorship.
When universities remove things from public view, it is never a good sign, since universities often try to do in private things they are unable to justify in public. You can bet that FIRE will be working hard to bring you information on just what these institutions are trying to hide.