Kirby Thomas comes to FIRE from Bucknell University, where she is a rising junior majoring in Political Science and English. Kirby is Editor-in-Chief of The Counterweight, the conservative student paper, and she has held various positions with the Bucknell University Conservatives Club (BUCC). Kirby was involved with the BUCC as it was serially censored by Bucknell, landing the university on FIRE’s red alert list. On why she came to FIRE, Kirby writes:
I have always been aware that certain ideologies dominated the world of academia. I used to believe, however, that this was simply a result of the type of person drawn to an academic career, and that the few who did hold opposing viewpoints were given equal opportunity to express their opinions on college campuses. My freshman year at Bucknell University, I learned the truth. The lack of intellectual diversity on so many campuses is often actually a result of censorship and disregard for First Amendment rights.
After I was involved in a FIRE case in the spring of my freshman year, I learned how many other students around the country have had their individual rights suppressed by their universities. A passionate supporter of the First Amendment, I was impressed with FIRE’s response to my group’s case and the cases of my peers in similar situations. I really cannot exaggerate the relief and encouragement that our group felt having FIRE’s guidance and support in our interactions with administrators. As a FIRE intern this summer, I am excited to help work to restore the rights of other students and to help make colleges and universities the true marketplaces of ideas that they should be.