This winter marks my second holiday season working at FIRE. As a student attending Drexel University and working through the co-op program, I have found my experience at FIRE to be most rewarding.
Ever since I started at FIRE in September of 2010, I have been witness to the inspiration and hope that this organization spreads to students, parents, almuni, and faculty alike. This inspiration is especially evident in the feedback we receive from FIRE’s summer interns. Thanks to the support of FIRE’s friends and donors, every summer undergraduates from across the country spend ten weeks in our office learning about how to defend civil liberties on their campuses. The lasting effects of this amazing opportunity can be seen in their enthusiastic endorsements of the program and in the work they do to promote free speech once they return to campus. 2010 intern Ginny Robinson thanked FIRE for "giving her the intellectual tools to better understand constitutional freedoms and defend them more actively" and then went back to campus and helped her school, the University of Virginia, achieve "green light" status. Another summer intern from 2011, Rachel Cheeseman, used everything she learned during her time at FIRE to shed light on injustice occurring at her school, DePauw University, where administrators censored satirical T-shirts they deemed to be "homophobic."
Every day, thanks to the support of loyal donors, FIRE is able to give students and faculty hope that their campuses will embrace civil liberties and cultivate a diverse, liberty-loving culture. This is what makes me excited to come to work every day and proud to be a part of the work that FIRE does. In fact, because of FIRE, I have recently entered into discussions with my own university, Drexel, to fix our policies to guarantee free speech rights for all students and faculty on campus. With FIRE’s help, I hope to see Drexel take the necessary and appropriate steps to revise their policies in time for the New Year so that our campus can be a bastion of free expression and earn FIRE’s coveted green light rating.
Without the support of friends and donors like you, I would not have this opportunity to protect my free speech rights as well as the rights of my peers and the millions of students and faculty in higher education. With only a few weeks until the new year, I hope you will consider making a tax-deductible gift to FIRE.
With just one donation you could help to correct the miseducation of our youth, expose the gross censorship common on campuses of higher education, and help more students like me reclaim their rights.