PHILADELPHIA, June 3, 2008—The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) is pleased to announce its first annual "Freedom on Campus" Student Video Contest. The contest will give college and university students from around the country the opportunity to win a $5,000 scholarship and other prizes for producing short videos about school policies or practices that stifle their freedoms on campus.
"FIRE is proud and excited to be able to expand the efforts of our Multimedia Project, and we encourage college students everywhere to join the fight for liberty on campus by participating in the ‘Freedom on Campus’ contest," FIRE President Greg Lukianoff said. "FIRE’s motto is that ‘sunlight is the best disinfectant,’ and we hope students all over the country will help us shine some light on abuses of basic rights on campus."
In addition to the scholarship, the grand prize winner’s video will be featured on FIRE’s website and the winner will receive an all-expenses-paid invitation to the 2009 Campus Freedom Network Conference in Philadelphia, where he or she will meet with prominent free speech advocates, FIRE staff members, and other top students from around the country. Two runners-up will each receive a $1,000 scholarship.
The competition is open to all undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in a U.S. college or university, and the video entry must be under 10 minutes in length. The deadline to enter is November 15, 2008, and the winners will be announced on December 5, 2008. To read the contest rules, please visit FIRE’s contest page. Students may enter online or through the mail.
FIRE is also unveiling the second installment of the PBS series Voices of Vision featuring FIRE, now available on FIRE’s multimedia page. This episode highlights FIRE’s cases at Le Moyne College, where a graduate student was expelled for defending corporal punishment in the classroom; SUNY Fredonia, where a professor was denied promotion for publicly disagreeing with the university’s student conduct policies and affirmative action practices; and the University of New Hampshire, where a student was evicted from his dorm and forced to live out of his car for posting a flyer that joked about the "freshman 15." The film also gives a fresh, inside look into the daily operations of the FIRE office, the jobs of FIRE’s staff, and the way FIRE selects cases.
"Voices of Vision gives the public an in-depth look at some truly remarkable abuses FIRE has seen on campus," Lukianoff said. "We are honored to be featured once again in this respected, award-winning PBS series and look forward to providing our viewers with more original video content soon!"
FIRE is a nonprofit educational foundation that unites civil rights and civil liberties leaders, scholars, journalists, and public intellectuals from across the political and ideological spectrum on behalf of individual rights, due process, freedom of expression, academic freedom, and rights of conscience at our nation’s colleges and universities. FIRE’s efforts to preserve liberty on campuses across America can be viewed at thefire.org.