Last Friday, the editorial board of Georgetown University’s student newspaper, The Hoya, sounded the alarm over Georgetown’s restrictive speech codes. According to The Hoya, “[t]he Georgetown University Speech and Expression policy contains outdated and harmful sections regarding acceptable expression that deserve public notice, if not immediate revision.”
The Hoya’s editorial hit all the right notes. It not only criticized the university’s overly broad and vague prohibition (PDF) on “expression that is indecent or is grossly obscene or grossly offensive on matters such as race, ethnicity, religion, gender, or sexual orientation” but also pointed out that the prohibition conflicts directly with a robust commitment to free speech found within the very same policy! In addition,The Hoya also noted Georgetown’s continuing refusal to recognize the pro-choice student organization H*yas for Choice, an act of blatant viewpoint discrimination about which FIRE has written to Georgetown on three separate occasions.
Kudos to the editorial board of The Hoya for bringing these important issues to Georgetown students’ attention. We hope that it prompts Georgetown students to press for greater free speech rights, and we stand ready to help in those efforts.
Image: Healy Hall, Georgetown University – Wikipedia