Campus Alert: Stifling speech

July 9, 2007

The island nation of Singapore has a reputation for zealously regulating the daily life of its citizens. It has banned chewing gum and levies stiff fines for failure to flush public toilets.

And when it comes to free speech, Singaporeans must use a heavily restricted “Speakers’ Corner” and limit their discourse to uncontroversial topics—and only then after registering with the local police station.

Pretty un-American, right? Not so fast. Shockingly, public universities across this country are taking their cues on regulating student speech from Singapore’s repressive civic culture.

For example, speech at McNeese State in Louisiana is governed by the school’s “Public Forum Regulations Policy,” which limits student speech to two “Public Demonstration Zones.” In these two “zones”—and only in these zones—McNeese students “may speak on campus one time per week” for just two hours...

Schools: McNeese State University