Speech on Campus After 9/11: Less Free than It Used to Be?

May 25, 2006

Universities have traditionally been places where debate and the free exchange of ideas have been welcomed. But after 9/11, that may be changing -- as some recent, troubling incidents suggest.

In this column, I'll survey some recent incidents suggesting free speech on campus is in peril, and discuss the extent to which the First Amendment protects student and faculty speech

Recently, students at the University of Miami (a private school, but one with a stated policy of fostering free speech) demonstrated alongside striking maintenance workers to show solidarity. Now, they face the threat of disciplinary charges.

These students received "administrative subpoenas" to appear before a school official, and were told they faced possible major disciplinary action on grounds of "disorderly conduct" and failure to comply with a school order. But instead of charging the students, the official asked them to look at pictures and identify others who participated in the strike activities...

Schools: University of Miami University of Virginia University of Colorado at Boulder University of California New York University Brooklyn College, City University of New York University of Chicago Cases: New York University: Suppression of Discussion of Mohammed Cartoons Brooklyn College: Possible Investigation of Professor’s Expression University of Colorado at Boulder: Investigation of Professor for Controversial Essay