Campus Free Speech? Oregon State University Earns High Marks In News Report

December 13, 2014

By Brad Schmidt at The Oregonian

Oregon State University is one of 18 colleges across the United States without restrictive free-speech policies, according to a report released Saturday.

The University of Oregon has at least one policy that restricts free speech, while Western Oregon University’s policies are ambiguous, the report found.

So says the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), a nonprofit student-rights group in Philadelphia.

FIRE reviewed the written policies for 437 universities to determine if those policies restrict free speech.

Universities with restrictive policies were given a “red light,” those with policies that could be restrictive were bestowed a “yellow light,” and institutions without restrictive polices garnered a “green light.”

Oregon State earned a green light, Western took a yellow and the University of Oregon received red.

According to a press release accompanying the report, Oregon State was one of three universities that “eliminated all of their speech codes” this year.

“The continued decline in speech codes is excellent news,” Samantha Harris, FIRE’s Director of Policy Research, said in a statement. “But supporters of free speech need to confront the threat from the federal government head-on and work to make sure colleges understand that no government regulation can trump the First Amendment.”

Schools: Oregon State University