Today’s issue of The New York Times features an op-ed by FIRE President Greg Lukianoff, entitled "Feigning Free Speech on Campus." In it, Greg introduces the massive problem of repression on campus to Times readers and points out that "Students can’t learn how to navigate democracy and engage with their fellow citizens if they are forced to think twice before they speak their mind" on campus.
Greg uses a number of recent examples to demonstrate how university restrictions on expression are prompting students to "unlearn liberty":
Last month, Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Va., forbade students to protest an appearance by Representative Paul D. Ryan, the Republican vice-presidential nominee. Why? According to university policy, students must apply 10 business days in advance to demonstrate in the college’s tiny "free speech zone" — and Mr. Ryan’s visit was announced on a Sunday, two days before his Tuesday visit.
Also last month, a student at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, was blocked from putting a notice on her door arguing that neither President Obama nor Mitt Romney was fit for office. (She successfully appealed.) And over the summer, a federal judge struck down the University of Cincinnati’s "free speech zone," which had limited demonstrations to 0.1 percent of the campus.
Greg, taking New York City by storm, is also slated to speak at the Students For Liberty New York City Regional Conference at Columbia University this Saturday, where C-SPAN will tape his talk for a segment on "Book TV." We’ll keep you updated on when that is scheduled to air!