In a column for Townhall.com, Mike Adams praises the University of Virginia (UVA) for going from a red-light to a green-light school by eliminating the last of its unconstitutional speech codes back in October. Adams describes how FIRE staff encouraged Dean Allen Groves to implement the essential policy reforms:
FIRE began working with UVA administrator Dean Allen Groves in April 2010 after Adam Kissel gave a lecture on free speech that was hosted by two UVA student groups – Students for Individual Liberty and Liberty Coalition. Shortly thereafter, Dean Groves received a letter from FIRE, which provided detailed objections to UVA’s then-existing speech codes. UVA student Virginia Robinson happened to be interning for FIRE in the summer of 2010. Thus, she was able to help UVA reform its speech codes.
Reforming these speech codes earned UVA a spot in FIRE’s elite group of merely 13 schools that have no policies that restrict the freedom of speech on campus. Adams notes that since UVA has joined The College of William and Mary in this group, FIRE is turning its focus to other Virginia public institutions such as George Mason University, James Madison University, and Virginia Tech. Administrators at these schools and other colleges and universities across the nation can take the necessary steps toward going green by heeding Adams’ advice:
Like Dean Groves of UVA, other administrators around the nation can attend a FIRE lecture if one is scheduled at their school. If that doesn’t happen this semester or even this year they can simply read FIRE’s pamphlet on Correcting Common Mistakes in Campus Speech Policies. The pamphlet contains all the information that is needed to comply with the law. And FIRE is more than willing to assist if any questions or complications should arise. After administrators make the necessary changes they are sure to receive much praise for their efforts. Just ask UVA’s President Sullivan and Dean Groves. I am just one of many who have taken the time to praise them publicly. Better yet, the alums who hear of these changes will be far more likely to open up their wallets and make much needed donations. [Links added.]
We continue to be proud of UVA, and hope these three other Virginia public universities will follow suit, showing the way for red-light colleges and universities throughout the state—and the country. Thanks to Mike Adams for bringing attention to our continual fight for free speech on campus!