FIRE President Greg Lukianoff gave the keynote speech at the fall conference for the Southern Association for College Student Affairs (SACSA) and used this forum to speak on several current FIRE cases, including the University of Delaware and Valdosta State University. In the latest issue of The FIRE Quarterly, Greg explains how these cases shocked the SACSA audience and how after the speech, many came forward and agreed with FIRE’s opposition to the administrative abuses seen at these schools. He writes,
I learn again and again at these conferences that too many campus administrators have never been taught the basic principles of individual liberty. Instead, they are inundated with programs and conference sessions that—like the University of Delaware program—regard students as something akin to patients in need of internal reformation, not the rational citizens presumed by their college’s academic curriculum. Startlingly, administrators often come to believe that a duty of "residence life" officials is to orchestrate an internal transformation of students.
As FIRE has proven again and again, universities often cannot defend in public what they do in private. We can and do win our fights—but what FIRE really strives for is to ensure that such abuses never happen in the first place. Such a massive undertaking requires an expanded and sustained education campaign, larger than any FIRE has ever attempted. But with the help of supporters and allies, as well as our resolute engagement of administrators across the country, we hope to swing the pendulum forward in favor of liberty.