Students challenge Clemson’s free speech policies

November 18, 2006

A group of students are challenging Clemson University’s use of free speech areas, saying they infringe on the students’ civil rights.

Clemson Conservatives were censured by the university in connection with an Oct. 30 protest that they held outside the areas. The group held a protest Friday to get signatures for a petition opposing the university’s policies.

Clemson officials said they are working on revisions to the policy and hope to have them ready by Jan. 1 for review by students, faculty and staff.

“No public university should have the right to restrict, limit, or abridge this fundamental right,” said Andrew Davis, a senior and chairman of the Clemson Conservatives.

The original protest was held at the scene of a Clemson Gay Straight Alliance rally, which was not at one of two free speech areas mentioned in the university’s policy. The Clemson Conservatives did not get approval from campus police to protest at that location on Oct. 30, said George Smith, university union director...