Azhar was recently quoted in an article in The Herald Journal (Logan, Utah) about free speech restrictions at Utah State University (USU). Unfortunately, like 260 other schools in our Spotlight database, USU possesses a red-light rating, meaning that it has at least one policy that clearly and substantially restricts freedom of speech.
While USU in fact has two red-light policies, the article focuses on just the “Responsibilities of Students” policy as outlined in the Code of Policies and Procedures for Students, which states that “All interactions … shall be conducted with courtesy, civility, decency, and a concern for personal dignity.”
Azhar believes that the policy is too vague and encompasses protected expression:
To require that of students, or else subject them to sanctions under the policy, goes too far. What we often tell universities with policies like this is if you want to encourage students to behave in decent ways, that’s perfectly within your rights. But if you say you’re requiring them to act this way, then you’re actually hurting their freedoms.
To find out more about the state of free speech at USU, including students’ and administrators’ thoughts on the issue, I suggest that you read the article in its entirety.