With students heading back to school, the busy season for FIRE has started once again. This year, FIRE has more resources than ever before to help students and professors combat censorship and oppression on college campuses. From an expanded Spotlight, to the Guides to Student Rights on Campus, to our individual rights defense work, FIRE is here to ensure that liberty on campus is protected.
One of the challenging things about dealing with college students is that every few years or so you get an entirely new cohort of students who might not be familiar with their rights or where they should turn if those rights are threatened. That’s why FIRE, in an effort to ensure that college students know that we’re here to help, is sending today’s press release to the editors of 250 college newspapers nationwide. Freedom of the college press is under attack from decisions like Hosty v. Carter, and it’s critical that college newspapers know that FIRE is here to help when censorship threatens.
FIRE is also reaching out to students through its advertisement in U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges issue, urging students to “Know Before You Go” about their college or university’s speech policies and practices. And to reach those who have already started school, FIRE will be running advertisements promoting its Spotlight database in dozens of college newspapers.
In connection with our ongoing advocacy efforts, today’s release also includes a warning to students at New York University, Johns Hopkins University, and Gettysburg College that their rights are threatened. Respectively, these schools are in the midst of controversies over the Danish Mohammed cartoons, newspaper censorship, and an irresponsible sexual misconduct policy. FIRE’s press release provides the contact info people need to write to these institutions and let them know that Americans do care about the preservation of basic freedoms on campus.