Student Defenders | The Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression

Student Defenders

Due process and fundamental fairness are in crisis on America’s college and university campuses. Learn how Student Defenders groups protect student rights across the nation.

Become a Defender

Every semester, college students across the country face potential punishment, including suspension or expulsion, for alleged conduct code violations. Going through the disciplinary process can be confusing and scary, and colleges often don’t give students a fair chance to defend themselves. Students deserve to have someone guiding and looking out for them.

Student defenders do exactly that. They know their college’s policies, and can tell accused students what to expect and what their options are. They can help students prepare their cases and advocate for themselves, while watching to make sure the school’s written procedures are followed.

Two students at a Let's Talk group discussion

How FIRE Helps

Let FIRE help you set up a Student Defenders group at your school. If you have any questions at all, don’t hesitate to email us at studentdefenders@thefire.org. We’re happy to assist however we can, from analyzing your school’s policies, to developing a strategy to work with administrators, to sending a FIRE staff member to campus to speak with you and your peers.

Get in touch!

Our Guide to Due Process on Campus

For a thorough analysis of due process rights on campus, consult FIRE’s Guide to Due Process and Campus Justice to learn more about the rights that students should have within campus disciplinary proceedings and warning signs that student due process rights may be at risk. 

Read the Guide

Startup Guide

Start a Student Defenders Group

FIRE’s Student Defenders program provides students with the resources they need to start, maintain, and grow their campus Student Defenders groups.

Student Defenders Marvi Ali
We’re here to make sure students have their rights upheld.

Protecting your Rights

Student Story

Marvi Ali served as a student defender on the Conduct and Honor Advisor Program at the College of William & Mary.

Read Marvi's Story

Get Funding

Campus Student Defenders groups have no formal connection to FIRE and will vary in size and structure. But they are united in their mission to promote fairness in campus disciplinary proceedings and to protect due process for their fellow students.