NOTE: The article excerpted on this page is from an outside publication and is posted on FIRE's website because it references FIRE's work. The viewpoints expressed in this article do not necessarily represent FIRE's positions.

Plain talk about free speech

January 16, 2008

It must have seemed like a good idea at the time-making sure that people who wished to spontaneously grab a soapbox and publicly announce their views on the campus of Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) do so in an appropriate fashion.

But by declaring a campus "free speech zone," which limits speakers to one small area of campus, the WSSU Board of Trustees stepped right into one of the most controversial issues in American higher education. Crafting effective speech regulations that do not infringe on the rights of the regulated today requires hair-splitting attention to legal precedents and language. Recently, Fayetteville State University changed its speech codes due to pressure from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), a free speech advocacy group, and the Pope Center for Higher Education Policy. In 2005, UNC-Greensboro faced a controversy similar to WSSU's and did away with its free speech zones entirely... Download file "5"

Schools: Winston Salem State University