When Auburn University student Eric Philips hung a Ron Paul poster in his dormitory window, he was ordered to take it down just three hours later. The university cited a school-wide ban on window hangings as the reason for the censorship, saying that it was instituted for "safety" reasons. Auburn must not care very much about the safety of its students, though, because Philips took to campus with his iPad and easily showed that this policy wasn’t being evenly enforced. Fraternity banners, Halloween decorations, and Christmas lights were all allowed in windows, but a Ron Paul banner was not.
National media outlets covered the story, but, as Greg Lukianoff writes in The Daily Caller, outrage on campuses was minimal. The problem, he says,
is that students, educated on campuses that over-regulate and apply double standards to speech, have simply gotten used to it. The process of "unlearning liberty," which the title of my book refers to, has many stages, but the first is simply misinforming students about the rights they have and the importance of those rights. The most dangerous stages, however, come later, when some students come to believe that not only should they not have those rights, but that censorship is what good and noble people do.
Greg’s column also contains details of FIRE’s experience with college censorship during elections, the Auburn case, and his upcoming book Unlearning Liberty. Check it out on The Daily Caller‘s website.
Schools: Auburn University