Know Your Rights

Knowledge of your First Amendment rights is the first and most essential tool in defending those rights. FIRE provides resources for students and faculty members dedicated to defending and asserting their freedoms on their campuses. With these resources, courageous students have turned the tide against censorship and restored liberty and true intellectual diversity to their university communities.

FIRE’s Guides to Student Rights on Campus

FIRE’s Guides to Student Rights on Campus is a set of innovative, widely respected, and well-received handbooks that serve as a vehicle for changing the culture on college and university campuses. They do so by emphasizing the critical importance of legal equality over the selective assignment of rights and responsibilities, of self-governance over coercion, and of the rule of law and fair procedure over the ad hoc and arbitrary imposition of partisan and repressive rules.

A distinguished group of legal scholars from across the political and ideological spectrum serves as Board of Editors to this series. The diversity of the members of this Board proves that liberty on campus is not a question of partisan politics, but of the rights and responsibilities of free individuals in a society governed by the rule of law.

FIRE’s Guides to Student Rights on Campus include:

The general public may download the Guides free of charge from FIRE’s website. Students may order hard copies at no cost through the website; non-students may purchase them through

FIRE Policy Statement on Political Activity on Campus

Students and student groups at public colleges and universities enjoy the full protection of the First Amendment and must be free to engage in political activity, expression, and association on campus. Students and student groups at private colleges and universities are entitled to that degree of freedom of expression and association promised them in institutional handbooks, policies, and promotional materials. It is important to note that the overwhelming majority of private colleges and universities provide extensive promises of free speech in their materials, and therefore should be held to standards comparable to those required by the First Amendment.

Read the full statement here.