LEXINGTON, Ky., March 28, 2014—Georgetown College in Kentucky has eliminated all of its speech codes, earning the highest, “green light,” rating for free speech from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE).
While the overwhelming majority of our nation’s colleges and universities maintain policies that clearly and substantially restrict freedom of speech, Georgetown is now a proud exception. Only 18 schools nationwide earn a green light rating, with Georgetown just the second green light school in Kentucky (along with Eastern Kentucky University). Georgetown administrators worked with FIRE attorneys to ensure the college’s policies fully protect free speech on campus.
“The entire Georgetown College community should feel extremely proud today,” said FIRE Director of Policy Research Samantha Harris. “The college’s proactive commitment to free speech is both critically important and all too rare on campuses nowadays.”
FIRE began working on speech code reform with Georgetown administrators in October 2013. Michael Brown, director of Orientation and Student Accountability at Georgetown, led the effort at the college.
“Georgetown College is excited to join the ranks of green light institutions,” said Brown. “We are committed to protecting students’ right to free speech on campus, and our revised policies now fully reflect that commitment.”
While there are only 18 green light schools nationwide, Georgetown is the ninth university in just over four years to earn the designation. This positive trend reflects growing awareness of free speech issues on campus as well as increased collaboration between students, administrators, and FIRE.
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, freedom of expression, academic freedom, due process, 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.
Samantha Harris, Director of Policy Research, FIRE: 215-717-3473; firstname.lastname@example.org
Jim Allison, Associate Vice President of College Relations, Georgetown College: 502-863-7922; email@example.com