This project defends individual students whose rights of due process and legal equality have been violated. Although students have the same right to decency and fundamental fairness on a college campus as they do elsewhere, meaningful due process is absent from most student judicial proceedings. Cases that America?s courts would not even pursue are routinely prosecuted in campus courts, without regard for rules of evidence or fair procedure.
Moreover, all students are also entitled to the same legal rights regardless of their social stature, religion, or political opinions. On many campuses today, however, disparate funding of student organizations thwarts this notion of free expression and equality. By denying funding to organizations whose viewpoints are controversial or currently out of fashion, administrators create a campus that lacks meaningful, substantive debate and that unfairly restricts speech.
Students whose rights of due process and legal equality have been violated may submit cases through FIRE?s website. FIRE vets these cases for accuracy and context in order to determine how best to assist the individual student or student group. FIRE then writes letters to college administrators on behalf of the victim, explaining why a policy or punishment is unjust. If the administrators fail to protect the victim?s rights, FIRE uses its extensive Media Network to publicize the story in the belief that colleges and universities often cannot justify in public the actions they have taken in private. Where necessary, FIRE links individuals to appropriate legal aid through its Legal Network, providing individuals and their attorneys with legal memoranda and other assistance.
Read more about the issues of due process and legal equality.